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What are Signs and Symptoms of allergens? How to diagnose and treat allergies? – Part 1

Signs and Symptoms of Allergens?

• The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and child to child.
• Symptoms can range from minor or major seasonal annoyances to year-round problems.

Allergies may show up as:
• itchy eyes
• an itchy nose
• sneezing
• nasal congestion
• throat tightness
• trouble breathing
• even shock (faintness or passing out).

1. Airborne Allergy Symptoms

• Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis.
• This occurs in about 15% to 20%.
• It develops by 10 years of age and reaches its peak in the early twenties.
• These symptoms often disappearing between the ages of 40 and 60.

Symptoms can include:
• sneezing
• itchy nose and/or throat
• nasal congestion
• coughing

2. Food Allergy Symptoms

The severity of food allergy symptoms and when they develop depends on:
• how much of the food is eaten.
• the person’s sensitivity to the food.
Symptoms of food allergies can include:
• itchy mouth and throat when food is swallowed (called “oral allergy syndrome”).
• hives (raised, red, itchy bumps).
• eczematous rash.
• runny, itchy nose.
• abdominal cramps accompanied by nausea and vomiting or diarrhea (This is because of the body attempting to flush out the food allergen).
• difficulty breathing.
• shock.

3. Insect Venom Allergy Symptoms

Being stung by an insect that a child is allergic to may cause some of these symptoms:
• throat swelling.
• hives over the entire body.
• difficulty breathing.
• nausea.
• diarrhea.
• shock.

About Anaphylaxis

• Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to a triggering substance.
• It can be delayed for up to 2 hours if the reaction is from a food.
• It can involve various areas of the body.
• Those with asthma, eczema, or hay fever are at greater risk of experiencing them.
• Most anaphylactic reactions — up to 80% — are caused by peanuts or tree nuts.
Severe symptoms or reactions to any allergen, from certain foods require immediate medical attention and can include:
• difficulty breathing
• swelling (particularly of the face, throat, lips, and tongue in cases of food allergies)
• rapid drop in blood pressure
• dizziness
• unconsciousness
• hives
• tightness of the throat
• hoarse voice
• lightheadedness

Diagnosing Allergies

• Some allergies are fairly easy to identify because the pattern of symptoms following exposure to certain allergens can be hard to miss.
• But other allergies are less obvious because they can masquerade as other conditions.
• Consult your doctor, who will likely ask questions about the symptoms and when they appear.

Based on the answers to these questions and a physical exam, the doctor may be able to make a diagnosis and prescribe:
• medications
• may refer you to an allergist for allergy skin tests
• more extensive therapy
– To determine the cause of an allergy, allergists usually perform skin tests for the most common environmental and food allergens.
– These tests can be done in infants, but they’re more reliable in kids over 2 years old.

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