Allergy involves an exaggerated response of the immune system, often to common substances such as foods or pollen. Allergens are substances that are foreign to the body and that cause an allergic reaction. Preventing allergic reactions depends on the type of allergy. Some of the general measures are avoiding known triggers, wearing a medical alert bracelet. When trying to identify what causes allergies, track the activities and what we eat, when symptoms occur and what seems to help. This helps in identifying triggers.
Some people are more likely to develop an allergy because it runs in their family. Those who this applies to are said to be atopic, or to have atopy. People who are atopic are more likely to develop allergies, because their body produces more IgE antibodies than is normal. The exact role of the environment is unknown, but studies have shown that several factors seem to increase the chance of a child developing atopy, such as growing up in a house with smokers, exposure to house dust mites, pets, using antibiotics.
Effective treatment of allergic asthma includes identifying and avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms, using drug therapies and developing an emergency action plan for severe attacks. There are many medicines that can help control allergy symptoms. Decongestants and antihistamines are the most common allergy medications. They help to reduce a stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing and itching. Other medications work by preventing the release of the chemicals that cause allergic reactions.