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An allergy is an unpleasant bodily reaction to a specific substance, commonly referred to as an allergen. These reactions happen when the body has an immune response to this allergen which it considers to be an ‘attacker’, causing it to produce antibodies to fight against it.
Each time the body comes into contact with the allergen the body releases more antibodies. This leads to chemicals such as histamines being produced, which causes an allergic reaction. Common symptoms of these reactions include swelling or a tingling sensation in the face, eyes and mouth, sneezing, skin rashes and breathing difficulties.
Allergies can run in families and they can also be triggered by environmental factors. For example, studies have revealed that children are at an increased risk if they grow up in a home where people smoke, have pets, are exposed to dust mites and use antibiotics.
Something which can cause a fatal reaction in one person can create none at all in another, although the physiological process is the same in anyone experiencing any kind of reaction.
Allergens enter the body through contact with the skin, ingestion or inhalation and though there are many allergens that can cause allergic reactions, some of the most common include pollen, dust mites, animal skin or hair and particular types of food. When the allergen enters the body, the white blood cells release an antibody which attaches itself to a mast cell causing it to rupture and release a substance known as histamine, hence the term anti-histamine.
If you find you are experiencing an allergic reaction without any clear or known cause, it may be worth booking an appointment with your GP so they can run some tests to determine the source of your issue. If you or someone you know experiences a serious allergic reaction, it is important to call 999 and get medical attention as soon as possible.
There are several options when it comes to allergy treatments depending on the severity of the reaction and whether it has been diagnosed by a doctor and prescribed with a stronger treatment such as an EpiPen, or self-diagnosed, in which case you would be looking to take an over the counter medication.
Allergy treatment options can include but are not limited to:
There are lifestyle changes you can make and habits you can begin to support yourself with including:
The type of treatment you use will depend on the nature of your allergy. Here are the allergy-relief treatments Click Pharmacy provide:
Telfast is a prescription-only medication that is used to treat and prevent hay fever. It comes in the form of a tablet that should be swallowed once a day to help ease symptoms. It can be taken when symptoms occur or as a preventative form of treatment if you suffer from regular bouts of hay fever. Telfast works by preventing the chemical histamine from being produced during an allergic reaction. The generic version of Telfast, fexofenadine, is also available and has a similar level of effective
Containing the active ingredient mometasone, Nasonex is a spray medication used to treat the nasal symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a running nose and sneezing. It works by stopping the production of substances in the body that lead to the reaction.
EpiPen is a brand of an adrenaline pen that is prescription-only. It contains a single dose of adrenaline which is given to people suffering from a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms of the allergy may include tingling and swelling of the eyes, lips and face, itchy skin and rashes, difficulty breathing and a tightening of the throat.
The side effects of antihistamines are generally positive as they are designed to bring down a reaction to the allergen in question, and even more so in the newer versions of the drugs which are generally well tolerated with little to no adverse reaction.
In some situations, though uncommon, there can be negative after-effects of taking these types of medication. For example:
Telfast can give users low levels of drowsiness as well as headaches, a dry mouth and dizziness.
Nasonex has a few possible side effects including a stuffy nose, nausea, a cough and a headache.
EpiPens may create side effects including nausea, vomiting and sweating.
For more information on these treatments, consult your GP or contact one of our healthcare specialists here at Click.
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