Allergic disorders are a group of conditions that occur when the body’s immune system reacts to substances that are normally harmless. These substances are known as allergens and can include things like pollen, pet dander, mold, and certain foods.
Some common allergic disorders include:
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis): an allergy to airborne allergens that causes symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.
- Asthma: a chronic respiratory condition characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, making it difficult to breathe.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis): a skin condition that causes itchy, red, and scaly rashes.
- Food allergies: an allergic reaction to certain foods, such as peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, and dairy.
- Anaphylaxis: a severe, life-threatening reaction that can occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen.
Diagnosis of an allergic disorder typically involves a combination of medical tests, such as skin tests, blood tests, and elimination diets.
Treatment for allergic disorders can vary, but may include:
- Allergen avoidance: avoiding exposure to the substance that triggers the allergy
- Medications: such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids
- Allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots): a treatment that helps to desensitize the body to the allergen over time
It is important to work closely with a doctor to determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition. With proper treatment and management, most people with allergic disorders are able to live healthy and active lives.