Complete Allergy List: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Wyndly Care Team
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What are the 14 listed allergies?

The 14 listed allergies, as recognized by the FDA, are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin, mollusks, and sulfites (a preservative). These are the most common food allergies, causing the majority of allergic reactions.

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What Is an Allergy?

An allergy is an exaggerated response from the immune system to a substance that is generally harmless, such as pollen or dust mites. These substances, known as allergens, can cause symptoms like sneezing, itching, or hives in affected individuals.

Different individuals can react to different types of allergens which can be found in various environments. Some of the most common types of allergies include seasonal allergies, food allergies, pet allergies, and drug allergies. Each of these allergies is triggered by a specific type of allergen and can have different symptoms.

Understanding the specific allergy terms and the types of allergens that cause an allergic reaction can help manage and treat allergies more effectively. For example, someone with a pollen allergy might experience more symptoms during certain seasons or in certain locations, while someone with a food allergy might need to avoid certain ingredients to prevent an allergic reaction.

What Causes Allergies?

Allergies are caused when the immune system reacts to substances, known as allergens, which are normally harmless. These allergens might include pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, or certain foods. The body's immune system perceives these allergens as a threat and triggers an allergic response.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for developing allergies include a family history of allergies, age, and exposure to allergens at certain times when the immune system is more vulnerable. For example, children may develop allergies as their immune system matures and is exposed to various allergens. Certain invasive plants can also trigger allergies in susceptible individuals.

Pathophysiology of Allergy Phenotypes

The body's immune system plays a key role in the pathophysiology of allergies. When exposed to an allergen, our immune system produces antibodies known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies bind to cells in our body and cause them to release certain chemicals when they come into contact with the allergen. One of these chemicals is histamine, which causes most of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Tolerance Disruption in Allergies

Allergies occur when there's a disruption in the immune system's tolerance to harmless substances. In individuals with allergies, their immune system treats these harmless substances as if they were harmful invaders, leading to an allergic response. This intolerance can manifest in many ways, from sneezing and itching to more severe reactions like anaphylaxis. Understanding the underlying cause of allergies can help in diagnosing and managing the condition effectively.

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?

Allergy symptoms occur when your immune system overreacts to an allergen, triggering an exaggerated immune response. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include sneezing, itching, hives, and even anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Allergy symptoms can manifest in various ways. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and skin reactions like rashes or hives. These symptoms are the body's way of trying to expel or protect itself from the perceived threat, which in this case, is the allergen. The type of symptoms and their severity can vary greatly between individuals and depend on the nature of the allergen and the individual's sensitivity.

In some cases, allergies can lead to more chronic conditions like allergic eczema, which is a skin condition that flares up due to exposure to allergy triggers such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander. Symptoms of allergic eczema include dry, itchy skin, redness, and inflammation.

Certain allergens, like ragweed, pollen, and mold, are common causes of seasonal allergies and can lead to specific symptoms. For example, ragweed allergies can cause symptoms like sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or water eyes, and fatigue. Understanding the types of allergens and their associated symptoms can help you better manage your allergies.

How Are Allergies Diagnosed and Tested?

Allergies are diagnosed and tested through a combination of a detailed medical history, physical examination, and specific allergy tests. These tests can help identify the particular allergens causing the symptoms.

After taking a detailed medical history and examining the patient, a skin prick test or blood test may be performed. In a skin prick test, a small amount of suspected allergens are applied to the skin using a tiny needle prick. If the patient is allergic to one of the substances, a swollen reddish bump will form within 15-20 minutes.

A blood test, on the other hand, measures the amount of specific IgE antibodies in the patient's blood. Elevated IgE levels typically indicate an allergic reaction. It's important to note these tests are not definitive; they provide guidance and should be interpreted in conjunction with the patient's history and physical exam findings.

Remember, understanding the specific allergens causing your symptoms is key to effective management of your allergy. Always consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

How Are Allergies Managed and Treated?

Allergy management and treatment involve avoiding allergens, taking medications to reduce symptoms, and undergoing immunotherapy. These strategies can help control symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with allergies.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is a treatment approach that involves placing a tablet containing a small amount of the allergen under the tongue. Over time, this can help desensitize the immune system to the allergen, reducing allergic reactions. SLIT is commonly used for treating pollen allergies and is usually started several months before the pollen season begins.

Of course, the best treatment approach varies depending on the specific allergy and the severity of symptoms. It's important to work with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan.

How Can Allergies Be Prevented?

Preventing allergies can be challenging since allergens are often part of our everyday environment. However, certain strategies may help minimize exposure and reduce the risk of allergic reactions. These include avoiding identified allergens, maintaining a clean home, and optimizing the indoor environment.

Avoidance is the most effective way to prevent allergic reactions. This involves staying away from known allergens as much as possible. For instance, if you're allergic to pollen, you might want to stay indoors on high pollen count days and use air conditioning in your home and car.

Maintaining a clean home can also help reduce allergen exposure. Regular vacuuming, using a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth, and washing bedding frequently in hot water can all help eliminate common indoor allergens. Allergen-proof covers can be used on mattresses, pillows, and box springs to reduce exposure to dust mites.

Lastly, optimizing the indoor environment can aid in allergy prevention. Using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home and avoiding the use of indoor air fresheners or candles can help maintain an allergy-friendly environment. Remember, while these strategies can reduce the risk of allergic reactions, they may not prevent them entirely. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

What Are the Complications of Allergies?

Allergies can lead to several complications, including anaphylaxis, sinusitis, asthma, and skin disorders like eczema and hives. These complications can significantly affect quality of life and may require long-term management.

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and potentially death if left untreated.

Sinusitis and asthma are often associated with allergies. Chronic sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses, can result from persistent allergic reactions. Asthma, a condition that affects the airways in the lungs, can be triggered or worsened by allergens. Similarly, skin disorders like eczema and hives can result from an allergic reaction, causing uncomfortable rashes and itchiness.

What Is the Epidemiology of Allergies?

Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide. They affect people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic statuses, although prevalence rates can vary significantly from one region to another.

In the United States, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness, affecting more than 50 million adults and children. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, more than $18 billion is spent annually on allergy treatment.

Internationally, the World Allergy Organization reports that allergy prevalence is on the rise, particularly in urban areas. This trend suggests that environmental factors, such as pollution and lifestyle changes, may be contributing to the increasing incidence of allergies globally.

What Is the Clinical Presentation and Natural History of Allergies?

The clinical presentation of allergies varies, reflecting the individual's immune response and the allergen involved. Allergic symptoms can range from mild, such as a runny nose, to severe, like anaphylaxis. The natural history of allergies also differs based on the type of allergy.

Most allergies begin in childhood, although they can develop at any age. Some allergies, like food allergies, are often outgrown in childhood, but others, such as pollen or pet allergies, may continue into adulthood.

The severity and frequency of allergic reactions can fluctuate over time. For some people, allergies become less severe as they age, while others may experience an increase in symptoms. Factors such as stress, changes in environment, and exposure to allergens can influence these variations.

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If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 10 most common allergies?

The ten most common allergies include pollen (hay fever), dust mites, mold, pet dander (cat and dog), insect stings (bees and wasps), latex, certain foods (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish), medications (penicillin), nickel, and cockroach waste.

What are the 7 major allergies?

The seven major allergies are:

  1. Milk (Lactose) Allergy
  2. Egg Allergy
  3. Peanut Allergy
  4. Tree Nut Allergy
  5. Fish Allergy
  6. Shellfish Allergy
  7. Wheat Allergy

These are commonly referred to as the "Big 7" due to their prevalence and potential severity.

What are the 7 types of allergies?

The seven most common types of allergies are: Food Allergies, such as peanuts or shellfish; Insect Allergies, like bee stings or mosquito bites; Pet Allergies, primarily to cats and dogs; Pollen Allergies; Mold Allergies; Dust Mite Allergies; and Drug Allergies, such as to penicillin.

What are the 7 allergy symptoms?

The seven common allergy symptoms are sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, postnasal drip, cough, and a persistent itch in the throat or ears. These symptoms can present individually or in combination and may vary in severity depending on the allergen and individual sensitivity.

Which medicine is best for allergies?

The best medicine for allergies varies depending on the individual and the nature of their allergies. Antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, and leukotriene inhibitors are common options. However, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment for your specific condition.

What are the names of prescription allergy meds?

Prescription allergy medications include antihistamines like Levocetirizine (Xyzal) and Desloratadine (Clarinex), nasal corticosteroids like Fluticasone (Flonase) and Mometasone (Nasonex), and leukotriene modifiers like Montelukast (Singulair). There are also combination drugs like Dymista. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

What is the best medicine for drug allergies?

The best medicine for drug allergies depends on the specific symptoms and severity. For mild reactions, antihistamines might be used. For severe reactions like anaphylaxis, epinephrine is often required. However, the ultimate solution is avoidance of the offending drug and consultation with a healthcare professional.

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