Atopy/Allergy: Causes, treatment, Prevention!

Allergy

Allergy: Have you ever felt itchy after a bath or after wearing some type of clothes (like cotton, nylon, etc), or when using some type of jewellery (e.g: gold, silver, iron, copper, etc)?

For some persons, they find it difficult to breathe when they are in areas that are either dusty, damp, cold, or with animals or where there are grasses.

Some others starts to have pains in their abdomen, or even vomit when they eat some kind of foods.

It could be anything. What is yours?

Table Of Content

What is Allergy?

You call it Allergy, we call it Atopy. In simple words, it means that your body is very sensitive/reactive, even to things it normally should not react to. Hence, when you use these things that your body does not like, it would start reacting to show you that it doesn’t want it.

Please, this has nothing to do with Ogbanje or any spiritual connection. It is purely medical.

This type of problem is common with a lot of persons, mostly starting from their childhood.

Allergy
Allergy such as Asthma is seen in millions of people, both children and adults. It is triggered by allergens in the Environment. Image Credits: Stanfordhealthcare

What Causes Allergy?

The main cause of these allergic reactions that you go through is simply your immune system. Your immune system is placed in our body, and its job is to protect your from foreign bodies like viruses or bacteria. Just like what happens in Corona virus patients. Its the immune system that helps them fight the virus & help them recover. It is just like a police man.

Sometimes, your immune system starts acting abnormally, & starts seeing some normal things as bad or harmful when they are not.

This is the problem that leads to allergic reactions. It happens when the immune system, now see things that are normal as bad, and start to attack them because of a false alert.

Just imagine when the police, instead of coming to arrest Criminals in a particular community, now arrest normal people on the street, just because they have tattoo or sag their trousers, or they smoke & torture them to agreeing that they are the criminals. This type of overreaction is what happens in allergy.

There is something in the immune system called IgE (immunoglobulin E). This is what it uses in responding to the foreign bodies. In allergy, this IgE now attacks over reacts and causes the manifestation you see.

Things that Can Cause Allergic Reaction

The following listed below are some things can cause allergic reactions in some people. Note that this is not all:

  1. Insect Bite
  2. Food
  3. Drugs
  4. Clothing material
  5. Grasses
  6. Animals
  7. Metals
  8. Sponge/Soap
  9. Dusts
  10. Cold

In summary, just anything can cause allergy. It can even be sunlight. Some people are even Allergic to Condom (Latex).
Also know that, What you are allergic to might not be what another person is allergic to.

Conditions Arising From Allergy

Examples of medical condition that can result from allergy are;

  • Asthma: you may have Cough, chest tightness or be struggling to breathe in air.
  • Rhinitis/rhinosinusitis: most persons would be sneezing, or have itchy, runny or blocked nose.
  • Dermatitis (Eczema): rashes that are itchy, every time you are scratching your body.
  • Conjunctivitis: you would be scratching or have itchy eyes. Your eyes would be red, and watery.
  • Food/Drug Allergy: you will be having stomach pain, or be feeling sick. You may even vomit or be passing watery stool.

What do you do when you have allergy?

What to do depends on the type of Allergy or Allergic disease that you have. We cannot write about what to do for all of them here, but, we would take them one after another and attach the link here.

But generally, what to do for any allergic reaction is;

  1. Avoid known allergies: That is to avoid/remove anything in that environment, whether clothe, food, grasses, drug, etc that the person is allergic to. If you don’t know what is causing allergy, they changing environment for about 2 weeks and see of it improves. It might just be the dusts on the curtains, chair, or the dog or something on that particular food that is causing the problem.
    We know that It is not easy for an anyone to know the allergens in their environment that cause allergic reactions, but they have to try.
  2. Hospital: If the allergic reaction becomes very serious, especially when it affects breathing, you have to see a doctor immediy.
  3. Drugs: some drugs to help you manage the scratching & itching that you are having (e.g: piritone). Know that this does not replace the need or importance of seeing a doctor.
  4. Counseling: you should know that what you have is normal, and Allergy is not from any village or spiritual husband, wife or person.

We would talk about the individual conditions that gives rise to allergic reactions later on. Bookmark/Save this website for future readings or join our email list so we can mail you our new publications.

We hope you have learnt about this now?
Do you have any questions for us? Ask below.

What is causing your own allergy?

Authors

  • Obasi Chinedu David attended the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, in ituku-ozalla, Enugu state, Nigeria.

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