Allergies

Did you know 1 in 5 Australians have an allergy at some time in their lives? These can vary from mild discomfort to potentially life threatening.

An allergy occurs in an individual when their immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are normally harmless to others. These substances are commonly know as allergens and are found in dust mites, pets, pollen, moulds, insects and foods. When someone is exposed to allergens and has a inherited tendency to develop an immune reaction, they respond via an allergic inflammation (redness & swelling). This is commonly seen as development into symptoms that affect areas such as:

  • Nose, eyes, sinuses, throat – hay fever
  • Skin – eczema, hives
  • Lungs – asthma

The best way to decrease your chance to have an allergy is to avoid or minimise contact with the trigger allergen. For example, some people are allergic to dust mites, therefore reducing the presence of dust mites in a property is important.

Options for treatment of allergic reactions can be:

  • Non-medicated saline sprays or rinses
  • Antihistamines – block histamine release thereby reducing allergic symptoms
  • Medicated eye drops – good for specific localised treatment in the eyes
  • Medicated nasal sprays – again good for specific localised treatment within the nasal passage (hay fever)

For more severe individualised reactions to allergens (peanut & seafood allergies) there is sometimes the need for first aid emergency treatment, such as using an injection containing adrenaline.

If you think you may have an allergy take the opportunity to talk to your pharmacist, so we can advise on possible solutions, and if more severe, consult your family GP

 

References:

Health Direct

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

National Allergy Strategy

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