How can I know if I have Allergies?

An allergy is a reaction by your immune system to something that does not bother most other people. People who have allergies often are sensitive to more than one thing. Substances that often cause reactions are
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Mold spores
  • Pet dander
  • Food
  • Insect stings
  • Medicines
Normally, your immune system fights germs. It is your body's defense system. In most allergic reactions, however, it is responding to a false alarm. Genes and the environment probably both play a role.

Allergies can cause a variety of symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, itching, rashes, swelling, or asthma. Allergies can range from minor to severe. Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction that can be life-threatening. Doctors use skin and blood tests to diagnose allergies. Treatments include medicines, allergy shots, and avoiding the substances that cause the reactions.


Symptoms

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, frequently include nasal congestion, a clear runny nose, sneezing, nose and eye itching, and excess tear production in the eyes. Postnasal dripping of clear mucus frequently causes a cough. Loss of the sense of smell is common, and loss of taste sense occurs occasionally. Nose bleeding may occur if the condition is severe. Eye itching, redness, and excess tears in the eyes frequently accompany the nasal symptoms. The eye symptoms are referred to as "allergic conjunctivitis" (inflammation of the whites of the eyes). These allergic symptoms often interfere with one's quality of life and overall health.

Allergic rhinitis can lead to other diseases such as sinusitis and asthma. Many people with allergies have difficulty with social and physical activities.
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy throat
  • Itchy nose
  • Blocked/runny nose

How can I know if I have Allergies?

The patient's personal and family medical history, and how signs and symptoms have been dealt with so far. 

A blood or skin test can be followed up to identify which substance(s) the patient is allergic to.

  • Skin test - the skin is pricked with a minute amount of a known allergen (substance that some people are allergic to). The amount of IgE antibodies (immunoglobulin E) is measured. IgE antibodies are produced in high amounts if a person has an allergy to something. 
  • Blood test - the test simply measures the level of IgE antibody in the blood. If it is zero there is no sensitivity, whereas 6 indicates very high sensitivity.

Ayurvedic Cure

Below are some ways you can treat allergies through simple home remedies.
  • Home remedies for Pitta Allergy :Take half a teaspoon of amlaki, steep in boiling water and then strain the liquid before drinking it. Amlaki is a virechan (laxative) herb and helps remove Pitta Dosha during the allergy season. Breathing coconut oil deeply in each nostril a couple of times a day, drinking neem leaf tea  three or four times a day and drinking warm milk (a quarter cup) with half a teaspoon of  turmeric will also prove beneficial. It is important to follow a Pitta soothing anti-inflammatory diet by avoiding fried food, processed and spicy food, chillies, onions, garlic, red meat, egg yolks, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Home remedies for Kapha Allergy: This type of allergy needs Chyavanprash which has to be taken twice daily to strengthen the lungs. Triphala will also help in detoxifying the system. The person suffering from this type of allergy needs to take half a teaspoon of triphala steeped ten minutes in boiling water. The liquid has to be strained before drinking it. Kapha-causing foods specially wheat and dairy products is best avoided during such allergies.
  • Home remedies for Vata allergy: For Vata-caused allergies, seasame oil is highly beneficial. A teaspoon of Ashwagandha  taken with a cup of warm milk during bedtime will also balance Vata. Those with Vata causing allergies can use nasya oil (sesame oil) for dry, painful nasal passages while liquorice (mulethi) tea will relieve a dry, raspy throat. Alternatively, they can drink three or four cups of ginger root tea per day for immediate relief.

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