Allergies are an autoimmune reaction to a substance (allergen) which can cause a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from a mild itch to anaphylactic shock. People can come into contact with an allergen through inhalation, consumption, or skin contact.
Although environmental factors do contribute, genetics are the major cause in the development of allergies —meaning that the susceptibility to suffering from allergies is generally hereditary. Usually symptoms develop from a young age and can manifest into adulthood. Symptoms of allergies come and go depending on exposure to triggers.
Many people around the world experience allergies from triggers such as food and insect stings, among many others.
Common symptoms of allergies include:
- Sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip (excessive mucus which runs from the back of the nose to the throat)
- Cold symptoms that don’t go away, coughing, frequent sinus infection
- Itchy, watery eyes, frequent rubbing of the eyes
- Skin rash, dry skin (especially around the child’s elbows, joints, knees, and torso)
- Hives (urticaria)
- Asthma, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, and coughing
- Medication– Nowadays, allergy medications are highly effective and are available to be taken orally or in the form of nasal sprays.
- Oral Medications– Antihistamines are highly effective and are long-acting for up to 12-24 hours. Medications in this group do not cause drowsiness.
- Nasal Sprays– Medications in this group are effective when they are used continuously. They work well in reducing swelling and inflammation of the nasal membranes as well as reducing complications of sinusitis.
- Allergy Vaccinations (Allergy Shots)– Also known as immunotherapy, nowadays, allergy vaccines are able to be given through shots or sublingually (oral medications). The idea behind immunotherapy is to build up a tolerance to the allergens we are allergic to. The process involves a series of shots or sublingual medications for a total of three years.
- Acute bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is the inflammation of mucous membrane of the trachea affecting on enlargement and hyperactivity of mucous glands which make tracheal pathway narrowed causing cough and secretion with dyspnea.
- Respiratory tract infection, mostly from virus which is the same group causing flu and influenza.
- Bacterial infection such as Bordateria pertussis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae
- Irritants such as smoking, air pollution, dust, chemical agent, etc.
- Irritation from gastric enzyme in patient with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Signs and symptoms
- Slight fever, chills, fatigue
- Cough with few or no sputum initially then increasing much more secretion later
- In case of sticky green or yellow sputum is caused by bacteria infection
- Symptomatic treatment for example antipyretic drug for treatment of fever.
- Cough medication or bronchodilator.
- In case of a large amount of sputum, mucolytic agent may be given.