ALLERGIES, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to something in the environment that usually causes little problem in most people.
These diseases include hayfever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma and anaphylaxis, which can be a severe life threatening condition.
Symptoms of an allergy may include red eyes, an itchy rash, runny nose, shortness of breath or swelling.
Common allergies include pollen and food.
Many allergens such as dust or pollen are airborne. In these cases symptoms arise in areas in contact with air, such as eyes, nose and lungs.
For instance allergic rhinitis, also known as hayfever, causes irritation of the nose, sneezing, itching and redness of the eyes.
Skin allergies frequently cause rashes or inflammation within the skin in what is known as a 'weal and flare' reaction characteristic of hives.
A wide variety of foods can cause allergic reactions but the vast majority of allergic responses to food are caused by cow's milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
Although peanut allergies are notorious for their severity, peanut allergies are not the most common food allergy in adults or children.
Management of allergies typically involves avoiding what triggers the allergy and medications to improve symptoms.
At the Friendlies Chemist we can give advice on allergies and their treatment.
You may benefit from an antihistamine, some of which may cause drowsiness, or one of the less sedating antihistamines.
Steroid or nasal sprays are available over the counter to treat allergic rhinitis and hydrocortisone cream is available for eczema and hives.
Eye reactions can be treated with antihistamine eye drops to lessen symptoms.
So whatever your symptoms or if you have any other health concerns call in and see us for friendly advice. Our pharmacist can even do a free meds check with you, which only takes around 30 minutes.