Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system that responds to something that is normally harmless. Symptoms can range from mild, such as sneezing and a runny nose, to life-threatening, such as anaphylaxis.
People can be allergic to all sorts of things, from pollen and dust to food and hair care products. Allergies are caused when the body’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance (an allergen), which it mistakes for a harmful invader. This can lead to a range of symptoms, from a runny nose and sneezing to more serious problems like anaphylaxis.
There are many different types of allergens, some of which are listed below. When you seek out allergy treatment in Houston, Texas, your physician can help identify which of these allergens affect you most.
- Pollen: Pollen is a fine powder released by plants, which can cause hay fever and other respiratory allergies. It can be found in the air, on plants, and in dust.
- Dust: Dust is a mixture of tiny particles that can include pollen, skin cells, and dust mites. Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in warm, humid environments and can cause asthma and other respiratory allergies.
- Food: Food allergies are caused by the body’s immune system reacting to certain proteins found in foods. Symptoms can range from a mild rash to a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
- Hair care products: Some people can be allergic to the ingredients in hair care products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and hair dyes. This can cause a range of symptoms, from a rash to a severe allergic reaction.
- Insect stings: Some people are allergic to the venom released by insect stings, which can cause a range of symptoms, from a mild rash to anaphylaxis.
- Medications: Some people can be allergic to the ingredients in medications, such as antibiotics and painkillers. This can cause a range of symptoms, from a mild rash to a severe allergic reaction.
- Animal dander: Animal dander is the tiny flakes of skin that animals shed. Pets with fur or feathers are the most common sources of dander, but it can also be found in the air and on furniture. People with allergies to animal dander can experience a wide range of symptoms, from a runny nose to asthma.
Treating Your Allergies
There are a number of ways to treat allergies, including over-the-counter and prescription medications, immunotherapy, and lifestyle changes. It is important to work with a doctor to find the best treatment for each individual. You’ll also want to inform your loved ones of your allergies, as well as professionals you encounter, such as your cosmetologist. With the knowledge gained from their cosmetology programs, these professionals should know the best way to avoid hair care allergens while getting the best, most stylish, results.
There are a number of different types of medications that can be used to treat allergies. Antihistamines are the most common type and work by blocking the effects of histamine, which is released during an allergic reaction. Corticosteroids are a type of prescription medication that can be used to treat allergies. They work by reducing inflammation, which can help to relieve symptoms. Leukotriene modifiers are another type of prescription medication that can be used to treat allergies. They work by blocking the effects of leukotrienes, which are chemicals that can cause inflammation.
Allergy immunotherapy, also known as desensitization, is a type of treatment that can be used to help people who are allergic to specific allergens. It involves receiving injections or oral doses of the allergen over a period of time. This can help to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
There are a number of lifestyle changes that can be made to help reduce the symptoms of allergies. Some of these changes include avoiding exposure to allergens as much as possible, washing hands and surfaces regularly to remove allergens, using a humidifier to keep the air moist, avoiding cigarette smoke (which can aggravate allergies), drinking plenty of fluids to help clear allergens from the body, and eating a balanced diet that’s free from any allergens that affect you.