3 Types of Allergies: Ingested, Inhaled and Contact Allergies
An allergic reaction is an inflammatory response of the immune system to a normally harmless substance. Substances triggering allergies in some people are known as allergens. The symptoms of different types of allergies may vary from mild to severe and even life-threatening.
Nowadays, allergies are becoming more and more common. According to statistics, there was an increase in the number of children affected by allergies in the United States. Experts believe that there are several factors contributing to the increase in allergies, including pollution, genetic components, as well as improved hygiene.
There are many potential triggers of an allergy, including foods, plants, animals, metals, medications, etc. etc. In fact, a person may be allergic to nearly anything.
Specialists often classify three types of allergies: ingested allergies, contact allergies, and inhaled allergies.
Ingested allergies are triggered by foods or other allergens that are eaten. Contact allergies, also commonly referred to as contact dermatitis, occur when an allergen comes into a direct contact with a person’s skin. Inhaled allergies, which are the most common types of allergies, are caused by airborne allergens that a person breathes in, such as pollen, dust or pet dander.
What Are the Most Common Ingested Allergies?
If a person has ingested allergies, or food allergies, their immune system will abnormally react to the food they are allergic to. This condition is also called food hypersensitivity. Food allergies are more likely to affect children than adults. The majority of food allergies are caused by eight foods and food groups, including: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.
Food allergies may cause symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Mild reactions to food often lead to hives. Hives is a red, itchy, and inflamed skin caused by fluid that is released as a result of histamine release. Histamine is a chemical produced in the immune system that is responsible for many allergy symptoms.
In severe cases, food allergies may cause abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, swelling of the lips, and eyes, and anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening form of an allergic reaction. The symptoms include swelling of the tongue and throat, trouble breathing, low-blood pressure, and fainting. Anaphylaxis is an emergency that requires immediate medical help.
Anaphylaxis may affect anyone with a food allergy, even if previous reactions were mild. If your child is allergic to food, he may refuse form milk, be easily irritable, and cry more than usually.
What Are the Symptoms of Contact Allergies?
Contact allergies develop after a direct exposure of your skin to an allergen. Normally, the symptoms are limited to the affected area of the skin.
Contact dermatitis is often triggered by irritants found in soaps, hair dye, detergents, solvents, waxes, polishes, and jewelry. Exposure to ragweed plant can also lead to contact allergy.
The symptoms of contact dermatitis can be irritating and annoying, but they are not dangerous. They usually include: itching, redness, swelling, scaling, and blistering of the skin.
If you have a known contact allergy, you may want to avoid the trigger to prevent reactions. If you develop a reaction, you can reduce the symptoms using oral antihistamines and topical corticosteroids. An anti-inflammatory medication like prednisone can help in severe cases.
If treated properly, the symptoms of contact allergies disappear in a few days. However, some people may experience drainage from a rash that is accompanied by pain or fever, which is one of the signs of infection. In this, you must contact your doctor.
What Triggers Inhaled Allergies?
Most people with allergies have inhaled allergies. Common symptoms of these allergies include: sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and itchy, watery eyes.
Most inhaled allergies are seasonal, since their triggers are present during certain seasons of the year. Pollen and mold are two of the most common seasonal allergens.
Pollen is a fine, powdery substance produced by trees, weeds, and grass for fertilization purposes. When the plants’ pollination season (which start in spring and continues through the fall) the levels of pollen count in the air are high. As a result, many people experience allergy symptoms.
There are also various indoor airborne allergens, including fungi, mold, animal dander, and dust mites.
Inhaled allergies are often referred to as hay fever. While some people confuse hay fever with asthma, these are two different things. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease causing bronchial swelling and constriction. In people with both asthma and seasonal allergies, hay fever may trigger asthma symptoms, which can also be triggered by some kind of respiratory infection, drugs, allergens like dust mites or diesel fumes, cold air, as well as certain emotions and stress.