An allergy is a harmful response of the immune system by the body to a substance, which is harmless to most people.
In some people with allergies, the body’s immune system treats the substance as an invader and overreacts by provoking a reaction that can range from annoying to life threatening. That substance called Allergen .
The immune system produces immunoglobulin E to protect the body.
These antibodies produce the allergy cell in the body known as basophils, to release chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen known as the allergen.
It is the release of these chemicals that causes a visual reaction. These visual reactions are called allergic reactions and affect the eyes, skin, throat, nose, lungs or gastrointestinal tract of allergic people. In this way, the body tries to get rid of the allergen.
Every time the person is exposed to the same allergen, they will have an allergic reaction. Allergies can be seasonal or they can occur every time someone comes in contact with an allergen.
Who has allergies?
Often, allergies can develop by transmitting their genes. However, if you or one of your children acquired it, it does not mean that your other children will get it. Very few children have allergies, even if none of the family members is allergic.
Very few children who are allergic to an allergen are very likely to be allergic to other allergens.
Types of Allergies most common in babies
There are many types of allergies, they are:
1. Allergy to Food
The most common food allergies are:
A) Allergy to milk protein : formula milk on the market is based on cow’s milk. About 2% -3% of patients are allergic to cow’s milk protein.
Allergy to cow’s milk protein: abnormal reaction of the immune system to the proton found in cow’s milk.
In the food market, all dairy products formulated from cow’s milk contain that protein.
B) Egg allergy: egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in infants and young children. The maximum processed food that children eat is the main ingredient. For many parents it is very difficult to find a processed eggless food for their children.
C) Allergy to peanuts and other nuts : allergy to nuts is also a very common allergy in babies. The peanut is not walnut, it is in the same family group of lentils and peas, which is called legume.
If someone is allergic to peanuts, that does not mean they are allergic to other legumes. Nut allergy can cause serious reactions to your baby.
D) Wheat Allergy : wheat allergy is the abnormal reaction of the immune system to wheat protein. Wheat protein is found in the maximum processed foods, some are more obvious than others. Wheat allergy can cause a life-threatening reaction.
E) Soy allergy : soybeans contain proteins such as cow’s milk, but soybeans are in the same family group as legumes such as peanuts. Soy allergy is a more common allergy in babies than in older children.
If a baby is allergic to the protein in cow’s milk, he is also allergic to milk formulated with soy. In processed maximum food, soy is a hidden ingredient.
F) Allergy to shellfish : shellfish allergy is common in adults. It can be a very serious reaction. For some people it can be life threatening.
2. Airborne allergy
People are allergic to some of those transported by air, which is more common in people. Aerial means transported by air and airborne allergy means a reaction of the immune system damaged due to some particles in the air.
Some of the allergies in the air are the following.
A) Pollen allergy : in the spring, when each tree begins to bloom, the pollen is transported through the air. This small particle fertilizes other plants and trees.
This allergy is seasonal. How will you know that your child is allergic to pollen? If your baby is allergic to pollen, you will have your annual relapse of sneezing and sniffing for a certain period of time and it will happen at a certain time.
For example, it can happen from the spring when all the trees and birds begin to bloom.
B) Allergy to dust mites : dust mites are the most common cause of allergy. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live around us. Therefore, insects feed on millions of dead skin cells that fall from our bodies every day.
We can also call this allergy, dust allergy.
C) Allergy to pets : Allergy to pets can cause problems for both children and parents. Allergy to pets can occur due to pet dander, saliva or urine. Pets always lose their dead skin cell, as well as skin or feathers.
These small particles can fly in the air at home. On the other hand, animal saliva can also be an allergen. As part of the grooming pet always lick themselves or others.
When pets lick their saliva, get on their skin or feathers; As the saliva dries, the protein particles are transported to the air and make their way on all surfaces of your house. Again, like pet saliva, pet urine can cause allergies in the same way or whenever a pet urinates that is not cleaned.
3. Chemical Allergy
Many babies are allergic to some chemicals. These chemicals can be used in various medications, skin products and cleaning products.
A) Allergy to penicillin : this is an allergic reaction that occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to penicillin antibiotics.
B) Aspirin allergy : Aspirin is a medication for pain relief. Aspirin or another main ingredient of the medication for pain relief are salicylates. These chemicals are found naturally in many plants, vegetables and fruits.
It is also common in many products for beauty care and common health care.
C) Allergy to cosmetics : certain ingredients (such as fragrance and preservatives) of cosmetics can act as allergens, chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction.
D) Sulphite allergy : Sulfites are a group of sulfur-based substances that can occur naturally or at some point can be added to foods as a preservative or enhancer.
Some more allergies are:
A) Allergy to insects : some babies are allergic to insect bites, such as bees, hornets, wasps, fire ants, yellow jacket.
B) Mold allergy : it is an allergy in the air. It is another common allergy. Mold is a type of fungus, a development both indoors and outdoors. It develops mainly in dark and humid places, such as next to a drainage pipe, wet room.
If someone is allergic to mold, they will start to sneeze.
C) Allergy to Cockroache : this allergy is more common in homes, especially in cities. It can be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in city children.
D) Latex allergy : Latex is a chemical found in hospital gloves and certain hospital equipment. Many babies can be allergic to this substance. Children who are allergic to latex are more likely to be allergic to kiwi, banana, water chestnut or avocado.
E) Nickel Allergy : A Nickel Allergy is a skin reaction that occurs from the exposure of the nickel-containing article.
F) Solar reaction of the skin : sunlight contains ultraviolet rays. Sufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation will burn our skin. However, some people easily develop an exaggerated reaction to sunlight.
Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of allergies can vary from allergy to allergy, as well as from child to child. There are some signs and symptoms of allergies like below,
Allergy symptoms in the air may include:
- Itchy nose.
- Itchy throat.
- Nasal congestion.
- Itching, red eyes, fluids.
- Loss of breath
If someone is allergic to food, medicine or chemical or other allergens, the signs and symptoms include:
- Red, pruritic and red rashes.
- Usually swollen lips, face, tongue and eyes.
- Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- The skin becomes dry, cracked and red.
When to see a Doctor
You may see a doctor if you have symptoms that you think are caused by an allergy, and the over-the-counter allergy medications do not provide enough relief.
If you have symptoms after starting a new medication, call the doctor who prescribed it immediately.
There is no cure for allergies. Only by reducing exposure to the allergen can you relieve the symptoms.
Not only should parents educate their children about the allergen and reaction, parents should remember them often so children can remember them, but also inform all caregivers and other family members about their child’s allergy.
To reduce symptoms, parents must give medications prescribed by the doctor, as well as have additional care in the home.
For allergy in the air, parents can take the following care:
- Keep your family pet out of rooms where your child spends maximum time.
- Hard flooring does not pick up dust as much as carpets or rugs, so remove rugs or carpets from children’s rooms.
- Remove any element that allows the accumulation of dust.
- Avoid cleaning the rooms when your child is present in the room.
- If your baby is allergic to dust mites, use special covers for pillows and mattresses.
- If your child is allergic to pollen, keep the windows closed.
- Give them a bath after they have been outdoors.
- Keep your child indoors when mowing the lawn.
- Keep your home dry and well ventilated so mold does not grow.
- Keep your child out of those rooms that are wet.
If your child is allergic to certain foods or some food items, always avoid products made with those allergens.
Food manufacturers should indicate if the food contains any of the eight most common allergens. But it is very important to know that it can be harmful if the product contains modified ingredients or processes.
There are two types of allergy:
1) Immediate allergies : they can cause a rash, swelling and hives within a few minutes of ingestion of food, usually around the mouth.
2) Delayed allergies : can cause your baby to have eczema, reflux, cramping or diarrhea.
If you are worried about any of these, you should always consult your GP.
The introduction of food one by one is the best way to start with weaning, however, if there is a high risk of allergy, then it may be logical to have an allergy test to your baby before doing it, but do not allow this delays the progress of weaning.
This could involve a skin prick test or a blood test.
Having an allergy increases your risk of certain other medical problems, which include:
A) Anaphylaxis : if you have severe allergies, you are at a higher risk of suffering from this severe allergic reaction. Foods, medicines and insect bites are the most common triggers of anaphylaxis.
B) Asthma : If you have an allergy, you are more likely to have asthma, a reaction of the immune system that affects the respiratory tract and breathing. In many cases, asthma is triggered by exposure to an allergen in the environment (asthma-induced allergy).
C) Sinusitis and infections of the ears or lungs : your risk of getting these conditions is higher if you have hay fever or asthma.