Allergies are an overreaction by the immune system to a perceived threat, which are called allergens. You could be allergic to substances in your environment or certain foods. You could also be allergic to stinging insect bites. Allergy testing, namely the skin prick test, can test for 50 known allergens at once, so if you are unsure, you will know what substance causes you to have an allergic reaction.
It is important to identify the early signs of an allergic reaction, as it allows you to respond to it in order to prevent a severe reaction. An allergy doctor can help you manage your allergies by identifying your triggers and providing treatment to help prevent severe reactions.
An allergic reaction is hard to ignore, as it usually causes you to experience a variety of symptoms. Let’s talk about the symptoms of allergic reactions according to the type of allergy.
Allergic Rhinitis/Hay Fever
Hay fever is usually triggered by environmental allergens such as dust, mold, pet dander, smoke, and insect droppings. Symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Red and watery eyes
- Itchy nose, mouth, or throat
Similar to hay fever, asthma can also be caused by environmental triggers. Viral infections can cause asthma symptoms to worsen. Symptoms include:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
Skin allergies are usually triggered by heat, dyes, metals, chemicals, fragrances, certain fabrics, and plants. Skin allergy symptoms can vary, depending on the underlying cause.
Eczema, also called dermatitis, refers to inflammation of the skin. Symptoms include:
- Rashes on the skin that appear pink, red, or brown
- Scales or bumps that may ooze liquid
- Dry, itchy skin that gets worse at night
Hives refers to a skin rash or reaction that is the result of exposure to a trigger. Symptoms include:
- Red or skin-colored welts that are round but may change in shape or size and turn white when pressed
- Severely itchy skin
Stinging Insect Allergy
Stinging insect allergies is one type of allergy that can lead to anaphylaxis in some people, where the body releases a flood of chemicals that cause blood pressure to drop and the airways to narrow, which can block oxygen. Swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat is just a few symptoms of anaphylaxis. Other symptoms include:
- Increasing pain and redness at the location of the insect bite
- Hives that spread from the site of the sting
- Facial flushing
- Trouble swallowing
- Facial swelling
- Swelling of the mouth, tongue, throat
- Rapid pulse
A uncontrolled food allergy can be dangerous, as the most common anaphylaxis triggers are certain foods, such as nuts, tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, and milk. Symptoms include:
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
- Swelling of the mouth and lips
- Itchy skin
- Abdominal pain
Allergy Doctor in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, and Plainfield, IL
The allergy doctors at Oak Brook Allergists can help you manage your allergies and minimize the risk of potentially life-threatening reactions. There are treatments now that can change the way you respond to allergens, slowly but surely. If you want to know what treatment options are available for you, make an appointment with one of our allergy specialists.