Allergies are an overreaction from the human immune system against a normally harmless substance (allergen).
Allergy symptoms can be expressed with varying levels of intensity; they can be seasonal or year-round. Depending on the form of allergy, the symptoms may manifest in different organs or tissues of the human body.
Allergies Cause Discomfort
- in the mucous membranes (hay fever, inflammation of oral mucosa, inflammation in and around the eye)
- in the respiratory passages (Asthma bronchiale)
- with the skin (neurodermitis, contact dermititis, urticaria)
- in the digestive tract (vomiting, diarrhea)
- as an acute emergency (anaphylactic shock).
The most common methods to detect allergies are skin tests and blood tests.
The prick test is one method of skin testing where drops of allergen extract - for example, histamine - and isotonic saline solution are placed on the forearm or back of the patient. A special needle is then used to prick the skin through the drop. After approximately 15 minutes an immediate allergic reaction can be observed by swelling or redness at the site.
Patch testing is used to diagnose contact allergies. A mixture of the allergen an Vaseline applied and fixed with a bandage to the skin on the back or upper arm. Because contact allergies exhibit delayed reactions, the bandage must remain on the skin for 2-3 days before a result can be determined.
Blood tests are used to measure the level of immunoglobulin (Ig) E antibodies in the blood. Both the total immunoglobin level and allergen-specific levels can be used to reach a diagnosis.
Allergy diagnosis enables you to determine if you should avoid any specific allergens or substances, thereby reducing any associated allergy symptoms.
Allergies are caused when our immune systems react to normally harmless substances in the environment. Allergies can produce a variety of symptoms, including skin reactions, a runny nose, or asthma.
Many allergies can now be diagnosed with skin or blood tests. After an allergy is diagnosed, there are several methods to reduce or cure the allergy
The following types of substances are the most frequent cause of allergies:
- Chemical substances present in the environment
- Medications, especially antibiotics
- Foods and food additives
- Pollen, animal hair und household dust
- Substances in the workplace
- Bee and wasp venom.
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