Allergy is a reaction caused by our body’s immune system in defense to an external stimuli which the body sees as a potential danger. The main function of the immune system is to protect the body from harmful viruses and infection by producing certain antibodies. An allergic reaction is known to occur when the body’s immune system begins to fight other elements that are normally harmless. The body misunderstands that these harmless elements to be harmful and attacks them to cause an allergic overreaction. This reaction can manifest in various forms of allergies including rashes, itching of the eyes, runny nose, breathing problems and diarrhea to name a few.
A person does not necessarily contract an allergic reaction the first time after coming in contact with the allergen or elements that trigger the allergy. The response is slowly created by the immune system and may be seen in the second or third interaction with the allergy causing agent.
Allergic reactions are very common and a lot of people face allergic reactions due to various factors at some point or the other in their lives. Allergic reactions could be mild, moderate or severe turning into life-threatening conditions. In some cases, even simple home remedies are found helpful in treating symptoms of allergic reactions. The condition becomes critical when anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction gets triggered in the body that could result in serious problems like bleeding in the nose, ear problems or wheezing when it becomes difficult to be treated at home.
What are the Common Symptoms Of Allergies?
Allergic reactions occur inside the body but symptoms are shown externally which make it easy to detect them. Some of the most common allergic reactions include:
- The sudden appearance of red raised hives all over the body that pretty much resemble ant bites.
- Inflammation in the throat, mouth, lips or the tongue.
- Breathing difficulties
- Fainting or a general feeling of light headedness, confusion or unexplained weakness.
You would need to seek immediate medical attention in case of severe symptoms like:
- Rashes or hives
- Severe Itching in one part of the body or the entire body
- Inflammation, pain or swelling
- Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting
Can you Prevent Allergic Reactions?
In case if you or any of your loved ones is suffering from a severe allergic reaction, immediately speak to your doctor about the possible medication. In most cases of allergic reactions, doctors prescribe an epinephrine shot which can be administered by the patient itself. When you are aware of the possible triggers of your allergies, make sure to inform your doctors about the same before they prescribe a medication. In some cases, immunotherapy is found to be helpful which includes allergy shots and pills containing specific allergens. Slowly, the body begins to get used to the allergens and reacts lesser to the triggers as time passes by. However, this treatment is specific to only certain kinds of allergens.
In order to prevent the occurrence of seasonal allergies due to environmental factors, following prevention methods must be employed:
- Restrict the exposure to allergens found outdoors: if you know that you are allergic to certain environmental allergens, it is best to restrict your exposure to these allergens by limiting your time spent outdoors during the allergy season. This strategy works best when your allergy is triggered by specific allergens found in certain seasons. Some people are known to be allergic to pollen dust which is greatly found in the winters. Consider getting out of the city when the condition becomes severe to avoid allergic reactions.
- Exercise and regular workouts: exercise helps in the natural strengthening of the body. People who work out regularly are less prone to these allergic reactions as their body’s immune system works better. Exercise helps in releasing adrenaline which is the body’s natural way of relieving a stuffy nose. However during seasonal changes, it is better to exercise indoors so that you can avoid inhaling pollen or mold.
- Controlling indoor allergens: modern technology brings about some respite for people suffering from various allergic reactions. Air conditioners, heaters and humidifiers largely help in cutting out external pollution thereby keeping the indoor air clean and fresh for breathing. However, when using these gadgets constantly, it is important to keep them clean and free from dust.
Understanding the Efficacy of Benadryl to Deal with Allergies
Benadryl is commonly known by its generic name, diphenhydramine. It is an effective antihistamine which helps to alleviate symptoms associated with common cold, hay fever, severe allergic reactions and the common cold. It is helpful in treating itching sensation in the eyes, rashes, sneezing, nausea, dizziness and vomiting as well. Benadryl helps the body to relax by acting as a sedative to make you sleep.
The primary function of this medicine is to block certain natural triggers or histamine which starts an allergic reaction within the body. It has a drying effect on watery eyes and runny nose which is caused by a chemical produced in the body called acetylcholine.
Although this is an OTC medicine commonly used for a cough and cold, it may not be considered safe for children younger than 6 years of age and hence must not be given to them. Use medication specifically prescribed by the doctor for children below 6 years of age.
Side Effects Associated with Benadryl
Some of the common side effects associated with this medication include sleepiness, drowsiness, constipation, an upset stomach, dryness of the mouth or nose etc. Speak to your doctor immediately if symptoms get worse.
If you suffer from dryness in the mouth, try sucking on a hard candy or ice chips. Drinking a lot of water to create moisture helps too.
This medicine should be consumed as instructed by the doctor. The frequency and dosage of the medicine should not be altered on your own. When your doctor recommends this medicine, they think your chances of benefiting from this medicine are far more than the risk of side effects and hence you are less likely to face any severe side effects. In case if you do notice any significant side effects that are disturbing your health, speak to your doctor immediately. Some serious side effects like changes in behavior or moods, trouble in urinating or fast heartbeats should be discussed immediately with the doctor.
Precautions to be Kept in Mind
Speak to your doctor before taking this medicine in case you are allergic to the medicine or any of its components. There could be some inactive ingredients in this product which could be allergic to you. Hence always look at the ingredient list and discuss with the doctor to make sure that you are not allergic to any of it.
Before consuming this medicine, make sure to discuss about your entire medical history including breathing issues like asthma, hypertension, cardiac issues, liver or kidney diseases and other severe medical conditions with your doctor.
This drug could induce drowsiness or dizziness and hence must be avoided when driving, operating heavy machinery or undertaking any activity that requires concentration and focus. Avoid having alcohol when consuming this medicine. If you are scheduled for a surgery, speak to your doctor if you have been consuming this medication recently to avoid any ambiguity.
Although allergies are troublesome, they can be managed very well with the right information and conscious effort. Speak to your doctor about the various ways that can help you manage your allergies effectively and in the most healthy manner.