What is an allergy?
An allergy is the response of the body’s immune system to normally harmless substances, such as pollens, foods, and house dust mite.
Allergy symptoms depend on the substance involved and can involve the airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually develop within a few minutes of being exposed to something you’re allergic to, although occasionally they can develop gradually over a few hours. It can also occur on second exposure.
Common symptoms of allergies are:
•sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
•itchy, red, watering eyes
•wheezing, chest tightness,shortness of breath and a cough.
•a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
•swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
•tummy pain, feeling sick,vomiting or diarrhoea
•dry, red and cracked skin
Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:
•itchy skin or a raised, red skin rash
•swollen eyes, lips, hands and feet
•feeling lightheaded or faint
•swelling of the mouth, throat or tongue, which can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties
•abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
•collapse and unconsciousness
•In case of anaphylaxis you should see a doctor immediately.
Here are some of the natural ways you can defeat allergies:
Shut out breezes
Keeping indoor air free of your allergy triggers can help ease nasal symptoms. Special air filters in the furnace and air conditioning systems may be installed which can remove 90%-95% of particles from indoor air.
Wash away allergens
Each time we come from outside we bring small particles with us. To wash away allergens, you can take a shower and wash clothes with detergent. It is also best to leave our shoes outside the home.
Wear a mask
A mask can prevent allergens from getting into airways when you can’t avoid certain allergy triggers eg. cutting grass, road pollution or dusting.
Drink plenty of fluids
If you are feeling congested or have a postnasal drip from your allergies, try drinking more water, juice,or other fluids. Drinking extra liquid can help thin the mucus in your nasal passages and may give you some relief. Hot fluids-such as teas,broth or soup may be especially soothing because they add the benefit of steam.
Refreshing Citrus Drink
This citrus filled drink contains plenty of vitamin C, which can provide relief from seasonal allergies,
To make the drink, you need:
-1 tablespoon of local, raw, organic honey
Squeeze the juice from the lemon and oranges and chill for several hours. Stir in the honey, add some ice cubes, and drink daily.
Red Onion Water
Onions contain a water soluble chemical compound called quercetin, that help to reduce the amount of histamine. It is, essentially, nature’s version of an anti-histamine.
You will need
-1 red onion
-4 cups of water
-Organic, raw, honey to taste
Thinly slice the onion and add it to the water. Allow it to infuse for 8-12 hours before drinking 1-2 times daily. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir some honey into individual glasses when you drink it if you like.
Eat healthy diet
It is seen that children who have a diet rich in vegetables, fruits particularly grapes,apple,oranges and tomatoes had fewer allergy symptoms.
Inhaling steam is a simple way and can ease breathing when you have allergies. Sit over a hot bowl or sink full of water and cover yourself with a towel to trap the steam. You can also sit in the bathroom with a hot water running. Use several times a day to relieve from allergy.
Avoid cigarette smoke and fumes
Smoking cigarettes can aggravate your allergy symptoms. Avoid fumes that worsen symptoms like aerosol spray and smokes from wood burning fireplaces.
There are also several medications available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:
•antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen to stop a reaction occurring
•decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
•lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
•steroid medication – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can help reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction.
You can know which one would be appropriate for you by consulting with your doctor.
Photo Source: Allergy Advocacy Association
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What is an allergy?