Allergy history and symptoms
Allergy history and symptoms On the Web
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Allergy has the potential to influence various organ systems differently. Depending of the rate of severity, it can cause cutaneous reactions, bronchoconstriction, edema, hypotension, coma and even death.
History and Symptoms
|Nose||Swelling of the nasal mucosa (allergic rhinitis)|
|Eyes||Redness and itching of the conjunctiva (allergic conjunctivitis)|
|Airways||Sneezing, coughing, bronchoconstriction, wheezing and dyspnea, sometimes outright attacks of asthma, in severe cases the airway constricts due to swelling known as angioedema|
|Ears||Feeling of fullness, possibly pain, and impaired hearing due to the lack of eustachian tube drainage.|
|Skin||Rashes, such as eczema and hives (urticaria)|
|Gastrointestinal tract||Abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, Diarrhea|
Many allergens are airborne particles, such as dust or pollen. In these cases, symptoms arise in areas in contact with air, such as eyes, nose and lungs. For instance, allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, causes irritation of the nose, sneezing, and itching and redness of the eyes. Inhaled allergens can also lead to asthmatic symptoms, caused by narrowing of the airways (bronchoconstriction) and increased production of mucus in the lungs, shortness of breath (dyspnea), coughing and wheezing.
Aside from these ambient allergens, allergic reactions can result from foods, insect stings, and reactions to medications like aspirin, and antibiotics such as penicillin. Symptoms of food allergy include abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, diarrhoea, itchy skin, and swelling of the skin during hives or angiooedema. Food allergies rarely cause respiratory (asthmatic) reactions, or rhinitis. Insect stings, antibiotics and certain medicines produce a systemic allergic response that is also called anaphylaxis; multiple systems can be affected including the digestive system, the respiratory system, and the circulatory system. Depending of the rate of severity, it can cause cutaneous reactions, bronchoconstriction, edema, hypotension, coma and even death. This type of reaction can be triggered suddenly or the onset can be delayed. The severity of this type of allergic response often requires injections of epinephrine, sometimes through a device known as the Epi-Pen auto-injector. The nature of anaphylaxis is such that the reaction can seemingly be subsiding, but may recur throughout a prolonged period of time. 
Substances that come into contact with the skin, such as latex are also common causes of allergic reactions, known as contact dermatitis or eczema. Skin allergies frequently cause rashes, or swelling and inflammation within the skin, in what is known as a "wheal and flare" reaction characteristic of hives and angioedema.
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