RE­AC­TION CHAIN

FOR AL­LERGY SUF­FER­ERS, BE­ING AWARE OF TRIG­GERS AND MAN­AG­ING SYMP­TOMS IS PART AND PAR­CEL OF LIFE. HERE, WE TAKE A LOOK AT AL­LER­GIES, FROM WHAT CAUSES THEM, WHAT TO BE AWARE OF AND HOW TO TREAT THEM

Good Health (Australia) - - Be Informed -

Al­most 20 per cent of Aus­tralians suf­fer from an al­lergy and that num­ber is on the rise, so chances are that you or some­one you know suf­fers from some kind of al­lergy. In this health book, we’ve cov­ered ev­ery­thing you need to know to pre­vent al­ler­gies, man­age ex­ist­ing ones and help you iden­tify what could be caus­ing those un­com­fort­able symp­toms. With so many dif­fer­ent causes and symp­toms – even po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing ones – stay­ing well in­formed is the best plan of ac­tion.

AL­LERGY WATCH

Any­one can de­velop an al­lergy but some peo­ple may be more prone than oth­ers. Here are a few of the fac­tors that can in­crease your risk: Ge­net­ics: If a fam­ily mem­ber suf­fers from an al­lergy, you have an in­creased risk, al­though you won’t nec­es­sar­ily de­velop the same al­ler­gies or symp­toms as your fam­ily mem­ber – in fact you may not de­velop an al­lergy at all. First solids: In­tro­duc­tion of cow’s milk, soy for­mula or in­tro­duc­tion of solid foods be­fore three to four months of age in­creases your risk of de­vel­op­ing eczema and food al­ler­gies. Birth in spring: If you were a spring baby, you have an in­creased risk of sea­sonal al­ler­gies. Ex­po­sure to cig­a­rette smoke: You’re more likely to de­velop al­ler­gyre­lated res­pi­ra­tory symp­toms if you’re reg­u­larly ex­posed to cig­a­rette smoke. De­layed ex­po­sure to peanuts: Sci­ence has found that in­tro­duc­ing peanuts early for ba­bies re­duces risk of de­vel­op­ing a peanut al­lergy.

What causes the re­ac­tion?

When your im­mune sys­tem re­acts to a sub­stance as though it’s harm­ful, an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion takes place. The same sub­stance could be com­pletely harm­less to oth­ers, but in a sen­si­tive per­son it leads to in­flam­ma­tion and other al­lergy symp­toms like itch­ing or hives.

GET TO KNOW THE SYMP­TOMS

Within a few min­utes of be­ing ex­posed to an al­ler­gen, you can ex­pect to de­velop a re­ac­tion. Your symp­toms will de­pend on what is caus­ing the al­lergy but they can in­clude:

» Swelling of the lips, face, eyes

» Sneez­ing

» Runny nose

» Red, wa­tery and itchy eyes

» Wheeze or per­sis­tent cough

» Breath­ing prob­lems

» Swelling of the tongue and tight­ness of the throat

» Headache

» Skin rash

» Stom­ach pains

» Vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea.

Stay­ing well in­formed is the best plan of ac­tion

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