WHAT IS AN ALLERGY?
Allergy is the abnormal sensitivity to external substances. The substances which cause allergy are called allergens. These are harmless in lower concentration. When allergens comes into contact with skin, or inhaled, it causes release of histamine, which in turn causes sneezing, running nose, watery eyes, itching headaches, etc.
Dust mites, feathers, pollens, molds, insect stings and droppings, animal dander are the most common allergens.
In general allergy symptoms are classified as mild, moderate and severe. In mild reactions there is itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and constantly running nose. In moderate conditions there will be difficulty in breathing. Severe condition is life threatening which includes Dizziness, low blood pressure, frequent asthma attacks and even unconsciousness. Patients prone to severe condition should carry an emergency kit containing epinephrine.
WHAT IS IMMUNOTHERAPY?
In severe conditions patients are given small amount of allergens in gradually increasing doses for a period of about 2-5 years to build up tolerance against the allergen. It is called IMMUNOTHERAPY or “ALLERGY SHOTS”.
IGNORING ALLERGY SYMPTOMS CAN BE DANGHEROUS.