Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. It is characterized by excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody known as IgE, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma attacks, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.
Many allergens such as dust or pollen are airborne particles. In these cases, symptoms arise in areas in contact with air, such as eyes, nose and lungs. For instance, allergic rhinitis, also known as Hay fever, causes irritation of the nose, sneezing, and itching and redness of the eyes. Inhaled allergens can also lead to Asthmatic symptoms, caused by narrowing of the airways (bronchoconstriction) and increased production of mucus in the lungs, shortness of breath (dyspnea), coughing and wheezing.
Symptoms of food allergy include abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin, and swelling of the skin during hives. Food allergies rarely cause respiratory (Asthmatic) reactions, or rhinitis.
Insect stings, antibiotics, and certain medicines produce a systemic allergic response that is also called anaphylaxis; multiple organ systems can be affected, including the digestive system, the respiratory system, and the circulatory system. Depending of the rate of severity, it can cause cutaneous reactions, bronchoconstriction, edema, hypotension, coma, and even death. This type of reaction can be triggered suddenly, or the onset can be delayed. The nature of anaphylaxis is such that the reaction can seem to be subsiding, but may recur throughout a prolonged period of time.
Substances that come into contact with the skin, such as latex, are also common causes of allergic reactions, known as contact dermatitis or eczema. Skin allergies frequently cause rashes, or swelling and inflammation within the skin, in what is known as a “wheal and flare” reaction characteristic of hives and angioedema.
Causes of Allergy
Risk factors for allergy can be placed in two general categories, namely host and environmental factors.
Host factors include
Heredity being the most significant factor out of the one’s mentioned above. However, there have been recent increases in the incidence of allergic disorders that cannot be explained by genetic factors alone.
The major environmental factors are :
Types of Allergies
Dust mite allergies
Insect sting allergies
Birch pollen allergies
Symptoms of allergic diseases can certainly give strong hints that a person is indeed suffering from allergies. However, in most cases, various tests are required to confirm a diagnosis. Testing depends on the type of allergic disease in question
Is Homoeopathy effective on allergies?
Homeopathy is highly effective in the treatment of allergies and fully capable of stimulating the organism to heal to the point of complete relief from all allergy symptoms.