Allergies

Allergies are immune system reactions to harmless substances called allergens. Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, insect stings, and certain foods and medications. Allergic reactions can cause various symptoms including skin rashes, respiratory issues, gastrointestinal problems, and even life-threatening anaphylaxis. Diagnosis involves medical history, examination, and specific tests, and treatment options include medications, allergy shots, and lifestyle modifications. Prevention methods include minimizing allergen exposure and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Best medications for Allergies

Drug NameClassRouteStandard DosagePrice
KenalogCorticosteroidsExternal0.147, 80, 10, 40 MG/GMfrom$101.20
SingulairLeukotriene Receptor AntagonistsOral5, 10, 4 MGfrom$9.39
Solu-CORTEFCorticosteroidsInjection500, 250, 1000, 100 MGfrom$4745.98
CortefCorticosteroidsOral20, 10, 5 MGfrom$6.47
MedrolCorticosteroidsInjection500, 16, 80, 8, 32, 20, 1000, 4, 40, 2, 125 MG/MLfrom$26.23
DEPO-MedrolCorticosteroidsInjection80, 20, 40 MG/MLfrom$5.01
SOLU-MedrolCorticosteroidsInjection500, 1000, 40, 2, 125 MGfrom$306.20
DymistaAntihistamine / Corticosteroid Combinations137-50 MCG/ACTfrom$42.90
ZyrTECAntihistaminesOral2.5, 5-120, 1, 5, 10 MGfrom$43.84
NasalCromMast Cell Stabilizers5.2 MG/ACTfrom$5.35

What are Allergies?

Allergies are a common health condition that occurs when the immune system reacts abnormally to substances that are typically harmless. These substances, known as allergens, can trigger an allergic response in sensitive individuals. Allergies can affect people of all ages and can vary in severity from mild to life-threatening.

Common Allergens

There are numerous allergens that can cause allergic reactions. Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds

  • Dust mites

  • Mold spores

  • Pet dander (skin flakes and saliva)

  • Insect stings

  • Certain foods, such as peanuts, eggs, milk, and shellfish

  • Medications, including antibiotics, pain relievers, and certain types of anesthesia

It is important to note that different individuals may have different allergens that trigger their allergic reactions.

Types of Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions can manifest in various ways. The following are some common types of allergic reactions:

  • Skin reactions: These include itching, hives, rashes, and eczema.

  • Respiratory reactions: These include sneezing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a runny or stuffy nose.

  • Gastrointestinal reactions: These can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

  • Anaphylaxis: This is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction affecting multiple systems of the body. It may cause difficulty breathing, a rapid drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing allergies often involves a combination of a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, and specific allergy tests, such as skin prick tests or blood tests. Once an allergy is diagnosed, the most effective approach is to avoid the allergen. However, this is not always possible.

Treatment options for allergies include:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops can help alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, prescription medications such as corticosteroids or epinephrine may be required.

  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy): These involve regular injections of small amounts of the allergen to gradually desensitize the immune system over time.

  • Lifestyle modifications: Making environmental changes, such as using dust mite covers on pillows and mattresses, keeping pets out of certain areas, and avoiding known triggers, can help reduce symptoms.

Individuals with known allergies should also consider wearing medical alert bracelets or carrying emergency epinephrine in case of a severe allergic reaction.

Prevention

Preventing allergies involves minimizing exposure to known allergens and adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Some tips for allergy prevention include:

  • Keeping indoor environments clean and well-ventilated

  • Regularly washing bedding, curtains, and stuffed toys in hot water

  • Avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke

  • Using air filters or purifiers to reduce airborne allergens

  • Being cautious when introducing new foods to infants and young children

  • Consulting with a healthcare professional before taking medications or supplements

Remember, prevention is key in managing allergies and improving quality of life.