by Evelyn Lim
More and more people are getting allergies nowadays. Common triggers for allergies are pollen, dust, animals, and even food. Some people suffer allergies only during certain months, when pollen count is high. Then there are others who may be allergic to pet dander and have an allergic reaction the whole year round.
An allergic reaction is caused when your immune system over reacts to a substance that in others would not cause a reaction. These reactions may be mild such as red watery eyes, hives on the skin, itchiness, sneezing or a runny nose or they may be as severe as the inability to breathe, shock, and even death.
There is no way to predict if you have an allergy to a substance or not. In fact, more often than not, you will only know this about your allergies after being exposed to the triggers. A trigger is the substance that is causing the allergic reaction.
A simple skin test can be performed to determine whether you are allergic to a substance or not. It is performed by making a small prick in the skin with a minute amount of the potential allergen. This could be a small amount of pollen, etc. Within 30 minutes, the site where the test was made is checked for reactions such as redness, or hives.
The best prevention to getting an attack is one of prevention. Most people who know that they are allergic to a particular substance will avoid contact with the allergen. Those who know they are allergic to pollen, will avoid going out during the times of highest pollen count and those who have food allergies will avoid eating that specific food at all costs. Food that commonly cause allergic reactions include seafood like prawns and shellfish, as well as flavor enhancers such as MSG.
Some of the most common substances that people are allergic to include plant pollen such as Oak Trees, Rag Weed, and Birch Trees, mold spores, peanuts, eggs, chocolate, milk, soy, seafood, bee stings, animal dander, cockroaches, and dust mites.
Why some people have allergies is not clearly known. Some argue that allergies are genetically driven, basically, if your parents had allergies, you will too. Some say that some forms of allergies are more prevalent in certain ethnic groups. There is new research being done linking immunizations and allergies. The belief is that due to immunizations, the immune system becomes weakened and becomes more prone and reactive to stimuli.
Aromatherapy treatments can be useful for allergies. Some aromatherapy herbs have natural immunity building properties that may help with allergies and their reactions. These herbs include Lemon, Roman Chamomile, and Eucalyptus. If you feel an allergic reaction coming on, you can add these essential oils into a hot tub and soak for at least 20 minutes.