Helping Your Family Through Allergy Discomfort
If you have allergies, there's a good chance both your parents and your children have them as well. New research shows a strong hereditary component to most allergies, though not in the ways most would likely believe.
Children have a fifty percent chance of inheriting a propensity for allergies from their parents - not a specific allergy itself. In cases where both parents allergies, that likelihood jumps to seventy five percent.
Dealing with allergies used to mean taking regular doses of drowsiness-inducing medication or avoiding the outdoors at certain times of the year. Fortunately, medicine and technology have taken giant strides in helping those with allergies lead normal lives.
Fighting allergies begins with getting tested.
The human body is susceptible to dozens of potential allergies, ranging from the routine (pollen and animal fur) to the exotic (certain kinds of shellfish and even some fragrances.). Understanding what allergens to avoid helps the body live more comfortably and removes the risk of a potentially serious reaction known as anaphylactic shock.
Allergists have specific testing methods to determine possible allergies in any patient. Tests are usually given by administering pricks to the back loaded with samples of a potential allergen. If the body produces a reaction, it's assumed that the allergy exists. Allergists can then devise a list of allergies for the patient to avoid.
Allergy testing should not be attempted if the patient has recently taken antihistamines, which can damage the test's accuracy. Patients with some types of skin disease may also be barred from the testing. Allergists will normally prescribe blood tests to determine which allergies are present.
Making the home allergen-free and protecting your family.
Experts agree the simplest means to avoid allergic reactions is to simply avoid the substances that provoke them. Additionally, installing air-scrubbing filters and air purifiers within the home acts to cleanse the home of most allergen particles and pollutants.
Smoking remains one of the most harmful allergy aggravators. Parents should not smoke in the home or the car if their children have allergies. Pregnant women should never smoke, as this presents a variety of health hazards to the unborn baby, including respiratory problems.
Finally, using both prescription and non-prescription antihistamines and decongestants treat the symptoms of allergies for finite periods of time. Some forms of steroids are also sometimes used to treat allergy symptoms, though they can present potentially damaging side effects and are generally not recommended except in specific cases.