Allergy is the most common health problems. The term allergy is used to describe a response, within the body, to a substance, which is not necessarily harmful in itself, but results in an immune response and a reaction that causes symptoms and disease in a predisposed person, which in turn can cause inconvenience, or a great deal of misery.
An allergy is everything from a runny nose, itchy eyes and palate to skin rash. It aggravates the sense of smell, sight, tastes and touch causing irritation, extreme disability and sometimes fatality. It occurs when the body's immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances.
Allergy is widespread and affects approximately one in four of the population in the UK at some time in their lives. Each year the numbers are increasing by 5% with as many as half of all those affected being children.
Symptoms of Allergy:
• Runny nose
• A very sever form of allergic reaction that can be life threatening is called ANAPHYLAXIS.
An allergic reaction may occur anywhere in the body, in the skin, eyes, lining of the stomach, nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs - places where immune system cells are located to fight off invaders that are inhaled, swallowed, or come in contact with the skin. Reactions may result in:
- rhinitis - nasal stuffiness, sneezing, nasal itching, nasal discharge, itching in ears or roof of mouth
- allergic conjunctivitis - red, itchy, watery eyes
- atopic dermatitis - red, itchy, dry skin
- urticaria - hives or itchy welts
- contact dermatitis - itchy rash
- asthma (airway problems such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing)