An allergy is a reaction of the body against something it considers a harmful invader, even if it is not unsafe by nature. Depending on the trigger and your body’s response, this reaction may cause mild symptoms or significantly impact the quality of life. While allergies are more common among children, this problem can also affect adults.
The most common substances that cause allergies in children, as well as older people, include:
- Animal dander
- Insects stings
- Some foods
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are The 7 Allergy Symptoms?
- 2 How Do I Test For Allergies?
- 3 Pediatric Allergy Treatment Options
- 4 Allergy Management FAQ
- 5 Book an Appointment
What Are The 7 Allergy Symptoms?
The most common allergy symptoms are:
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes
- Runny, itchy, and blocked nose with sneezing
- An itchy, red rash that appears raised above the skin
- Chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, cough
- Swelling on tongue, lips, face, or eyes
- Red, dry, cracked skin
- Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, the feeling of sickness
It is worth noticing that allergy symptoms, including those related to pediatric allergy, vary based on the allergen and how you came into contact with it. For example, you might have a rash due to skin allergy, runny nose due to excessive exposure to pollen, or sickness due to eating something that causes an allergic reaction in your body.
How Do I Test For Allergies?
Tell your doctor about the symptoms if you think you are affected by an allergy. Also, tell them when and how those symptoms are triggered. Your doctor will immediately prescribe treatment if the cause of the allergy is clear. But if the allergy is severe or its reason is not apparent, they may prescribe allergy testing, which could be based on one of the following diagnostic measures.
Skin Prick Testing
Skin prick testing is one of the safest and most common allergy tests. The doctor will put a drop of liquid on your forearm during this test. This liquid contains the substance that you or your doctor thinks triggers an allergic reaction in your body. Then, they will gently prick the skin under that drop.
The skin around the pinprick will turn itchy and red if the substance mixed in the liquid is genuinely an allergen.
Your doctor may recommend blood tests alongside or instead of a skin prick test to diagnose your allergy. This test involves taking a blood sample from your body. This sample is examined for antibodies your immune system produces when your body is exposed to a suspected allergen.
A patch test is a skin testing measure to investigate the skin disorder known as contact dermatitis, which is generally caused by skin exposure to an allergen. During this test, a doctor adds a tiny amount of suspected allergen to a specific metal disc, which is applied to your skin for 48 hours. Then, they monitor your skin for any reaction.
If you think you have a food allergy, your doctor may advise you to eliminate a particular type of food from your routine diet. The purpose is to monitor whether your symptoms improve.
They will then advise you to start taking that food again after a few weeks to see whether the symptoms return.
A food allergy can be diagnosed with a food challenge test. During this test, your doctor will advise you to eat or drink the food suspected to trigger an allergic response in your body. The food is added to your diet in a small amount, which is gradually increased daily to monitor how your body reacts.
While a food challenge test is riskier than other allergic tests, it is one of the most accurate ways to examine your body for food allergies. For this reason, a food challenge must be advised and supervised by a qualified practitioner only.
Pediatric Allergy Treatment Options
Your doctor will choose from multiple options to treat or prevent your allergies or your child’s. Here is a quick overview of those treatment options.
- Allergen avoidance: This option involves preventive actions to identify and avoid triggers for allergic reactions. This measure is the most important and, perhaps, the primary step in reducing allergy symptoms and preventing future occurrences.
- Medications: This option mainly helps reduce the immune system response leading to an allergic reaction. It can also ease symptoms if you suffer from an allergic reaction. Medication options to treat and prevent allergic reactions include over-the-counter and prescription drugs, which may be in the form of nasal sprays, liquid, pills, or eye drops.
- Immunotherapy: Your doctor may recommend allergen immunotherapy if your allergy doesn’t respond to other treatment options. Immunotherapy involves injecting allergen extracts into the body through a series of injections, generally administered over a few years. Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe placing a tablet under the tongue until it dissolves. This oral immunotherapy usually helps alleviate pollen allergy symptoms.
- Emergency epinephrine: An emergency epinephrine shot may be crucial in case of a severe allergic reaction like Anaphylaxis. This shot mainly helps reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent flare-ups until the provision of emergency medical treatment.
Allergy Management FAQ
Is there any permanent treatment for allergy?
There is no cure for allergy. However, you can manage its symptoms through prescription or over-the-counter drugs. You can discuss treatment options with your doctor to reduce the severity of allergic reactions.
How can I boost my immunity to allergies?
You can strengthen your immune system against allergies with the help of the following measures:
Committing to a healthy lifestyle
Controlling your surroundings, particularly to guard yourself against seasonal allergens
Book an Appointment
An allergic reaction is no fun. Not only does it cause irritation or discomfort, but it may also prove life-threatening in some cases. Therefore, Pediatric Immunology and Allergy Management is the need of the hour.
At EuroMed Clinic Dubai, we offer comprehensive allergy testing and viable treatment options. For more information or to book a consultation, you can fill out the form below.