WHAT IS AN ALLERGY?
Allergy is damaging immune response by the body to a substance, especially a particular food, pollen, fur, or dust, to which it has become hypersensitive. Simply said some people start sneezing in dusty atmosphere, some of us have a swollen face after visiting a beautician while some of us get colicky pain (Predictable periods of significant distress) after eating in a party. This is an allergy.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN ALLERGY?
AN ALLERGEN (allergy causing substance) comes in contact with a TARGET TISSUE (that part of body which suffers most), to release CYTOKINE (a chemical not normally present) to induce INFLAMMATION (swelling )of that tissue and induce SYMPTOMS (suffering).
This suffering is tissue based like itch in skin, breathless and choking inchest, giddiness when in vascular system. The chief cytokine of allergy is histamine.
IS IT LIFE THREATENING?
Anaphylaxis is sudden onset, excited by a cause like medicine or food article. Person in anaphylaxis becomes breathless, and loses consciousness. His blood pressure falls sharply, pulse becomes irregular and fast. Left untreated and it can be fatal. Emergency hospitalization, intensive care, life support medicines and intubation are required.
IS IT SEASONAL?
Pollen are liberated by seasonal plants from roadside and farm vegetable when inhaled induce variety of respiratory and skin manifestations. Parthenium the well known plant is a common roadside weed, induces a resistant eczema. Farmer population has suffered extensively due to parthenium allergy. Pigeons and other birds,their wastes and feathers induce life threatening respiratory allergies.Marriage season is time for contact allergy to cosmetics, facials, mehendi, imitation jewelry and so on.
IS SUFFERER A CHILD?
Defense mechanism of a child are yet to mature. Bites from bees and mosquitos induce rashes all over the body of a child making him and the parents restless. Thankfully, these reactions and rashes subside equally fast and with few medicines that are applied and consumed.
Important things to remember in child are:
- Refrain from steroids unless very necessary
- Depend more on soothing applications
- Use loose cotton clothing
- Proper protection from unfriendly environment of garden plants, mosquitoes rough clothing
IS SOME FOOD CAUSING IT?
Uncooked food, eggs non veg food stale food when ingested patients do complain colicky pain in abdomen followed by rash and loose motions. Some food allergies to fish, condiments, crabs are so intense as to cause sudden choking and need urgent medical attention. Some food allergies are so peculiar that sufferer becomes restless by just smell of the food.
Medical science has yet to find soutionto food allergies.
IS IT MEDICINE ALLERGY?
Certain medicines like ibuprofen a painkiller, aspirin a blood thinner, penicillin, ciprofloxacin sulfonamides, are antimicrobials, and cough mixtures are notorious in producing allergy. Patients develop blue black severly itchy eruptions which later form blisters. Commonly found on lips and genitalia these eruptions can take fatal turn in people who ignorantly continue to consume same medicine. So When possible take any medicine in mini dose before consuming full dose.
IS IT INSECT BITE?
Insect bites by bugs, cockroaches, millipedes, crabs, scorpions induce intensely itchy eruption giving sleepless nights. The affluent by no means are spared from this seemingly innocuous condition as compared to poor population.
WHAT SHOULD PATIENT DO?
Patient is a master of facts. Close observation and remembering what all could have caused the allergy is the key to right treatment. We are exposed to ever increasing number of molecules that no science however perfect can
pin point as the precise cause of allergy. Testing body against common allergens is logical however a prickly painful way to find the cause. We get market preparations to do these prick allergy tests.
PHADIA TEST is a name of method which uses Quantifying IgE antibodies with ImmunoCAP Specific IgE results in accurate evaluation of allergy patients. This method which is by far least painful, most dependable way of laboratory analysis and it can be selectively used for specific group of allergy causing substances. This test also gives us severity of allergy.What it cannot find is cell mediated allergy.