How Do I Know if I Have an Allergy?

An allergy is the body’s immune response to unwanted substances. An allergy is not a disease, but a natural defense against harmful substances.

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In an allergic reaction, your immune system responds to a foreign substance that is not harmful to your body. It’s not an illness, but a response to foreign particles in your environment. PHOTO via @YouTube/13 April 2021

KAMPALA | LIFESTYLE UGANDA ( — The immune system’s response to a foreign substance that usually isn’t harmful to the body is called an allergy. An allergy is not a disease, but rather a natural reaction to invading molecules or compounds.

An allergy can show up in three different ways: hay fever during the warmer months, chronic sinusitis during cold weather, or symptoms like asthma when exposed to dust mites. While the severity of allergies varies from person to person, there are things you can do to minimize your symptoms.

How do I know if I have an Allergy?

If you have any of the symptoms of an allergy, there’s a possibility you’re allergic to something. You might also have a negative reaction to a substance without fully knowing what’s causing it. Your doctor will take your allergy history into consideration when trying to decide what may be causing your symptoms.

It’s common for people who are allergic to dust mites to also have allergies to cats or dogs. Some people are more sensitive than others and may react negatively even after being exposed for only a short time.

Even if it doesn’t seem severe at first, it can still become worse over time with repeated exposure.

How do I address my Allergy?

There are many ways to treat an allergy. But the best way is to avoid whatever caused your allergic reaction in the first place. The most common allergens are things you’ll find around your home, like pollen, dust mites and pet dander.

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You can take steps to minimize the number of allergens you’re exposed to.

Here are a few things you can do

Keep Your Home Clean: Vacuum and dust regularly, and put on a mask when doing so. When vacuuming, ensure that you’re not touching or breathing too much dust into your lungs by using a powered vacuum with a HEPA filter (High-efficiency Particulate Air).

Get Rid of Pet Dander: Regularly wash your pet’s bedding and replace it with blankets or sheets which don’t contain any animal hair. You can also take your pet to the groomers to have it washed.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner: Choose a vacuum that’s HEPA-certified, and uses surgical-grade double filtration.

Get Rid of Allergens: If you’re allergic to pollen, try using air purifiers in your home which are made especially for just this purpose. Try to keep windows open for the same effect. Use an air cleaner in an automobile or other vehicles such as boats to reduce dust and dander from circulating inside.

Get Rid of Mites: Remove upholstered furniture, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and steam clean your carpet and curtains regularly.

Additionally, some over-the-counter medications can help manage symptoms of an allergy. Allergy pills like Zyrtec or Benadryl can help with mild symptoms while rinsing your nasal passages with saline will help you breathe easier if you’re suffering from hay fever or allergies.

If allergies become too severe, you may need additional treatment under the guidance of a doctor. They may suggest shots to reduce your symptoms or even immunotherapy to desensitize you to specific allergens.

FAQs: Allergy

If you suffer from allergies, it’s important to follow a strict regimen of allergy treatments and keep your exposure to allergens at a minimum. Using an epinephrine auto-injector can help reduce symptoms in case a severe reaction occurs.

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Do I need an allergy doctor?

Maybe. An allergy specialist is especially helpful if you suffer from allergies, asthma or hay fever. It’s not uncommon for people who have a single allergen they’re allergic to also have problems with other allergies, so it’s best to check out the whole list as soon as possible.

What can happen if I don’t see an allergy doctor?

If left untreated, allergies can cause sinus issues and even asthma. If allergies don’t get treated, they can also lead to infections like sinusitis which can cause more serious health problems.

What is a positive allergy test?

A positive allergy test means you are positive for whatever allergen you tested negative for within the past 5 years. If you’re exposed to it again, the symptoms that appear are likely due to an allergic reaction.

What is a false negative allergy test?

A false negative allergy test means someone is allergic to a substance but didn’t show any reaction during the test. It’s likely their body has become desensitized since they’ve been exposed earlier and couldn’t react this time around.

Is an allergy normal?

Yes, having an allergy is actually very normal. In fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.

Why is it normal to have allergies?

When you’re exposed to something your body perceives as dangerous, like pollen or dander, your immune system reacts by producing antibodies to fight the allergens.

Why do I sneeze in the morning?

Sneezing in the morning is a common symptom of an allergic reaction. When you lie down at night, allergens may build up in your nasal passage and cause inflammation which can lead to sneezing.

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What causes hay fever?

Hay fever, or seasonal allergies, is characterized by a runny or stuffy nose and itchy eyes and sneezing which is why most people suffering from this condition seek allergy doctor treatment.

The best way to manage these symptoms is to avoid allergens whenever possible so if you have hay fever symptoms speak with your doctor about how to control them with medications.

Why does my heart race when I have an allergy?

Your heart rate increases due to the stress your body is under when you’re experiencing an allergic reaction. Your body interprets the allergen as a threat and begins immediate preparations to fight it off.

What is a cold-like allergy?

Cold-like allergies are not actually caused by cold viruses, but by allergens like pollen or dust.

How can I prevent allergic reactions?

To prevent allergic reactions, you should go see an allergy doctor and figure out which substances you are truly allergic to. Once you know what your triggers are, avoid them whenever possible or use medications to manage symptoms.

Musasi Isaac Christopher

An aspiring Lifestyle blogger who specializes in health, food and restaurant sectors. WhatsApp me on +256759100143.


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