Allergy is a condition in which the body's immune system reacts to otherwise harmless substances (allergens).
Allergies occur when the body's immune system reacts to otherwise harmless substances around us. The condition is due to hypersensitivity to substances we eat, inhale, get in our eyes, injected or that come in contact with the skin. The overactivity leads to an abnormal reaction from the body's defense system, the immune system and allergies can cause ailments from most organ systems - but typically skin and airways.
The symptoms seen with allergies depend on where in the body the allergy occurs. In case of pollen allergy, airborne pollen will cause a reaction in the nose and / or eyes. In asthma, dust or pollen can create a reaction in the lungs that will cause symptoms with coughing, wheezing, heavier breathing and worsening during physical activity.
A classic skin reaction will be contact allergy where redness, swelling and itching are seen in the case of, for example, allergies to plasters or creams.
Others may be allergic to certain foods or additives in their food. They will often get symptoms from the digestive system such as diarrhea, but may also get reactions from other areas of the body. Examples of such symptoms can be headaches or rashes on the skin.
Allergy in children
One in ten children has symptoms of asthma or eczema and even more have hay fever. In many cases, it is a hereditary condition.
In case of allergy in the upper respiratory tract, the child gets symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy nose and repeated sneezing. Lower respiratory tract allergy (allergic asthma) causes wheezing, coughing and breathing problems.
Food allergies are considered to be a significant public health problem. Foods that often cause allergies are peanuts, nuts, flour, fish and shellfish and in children cow's milk, wheat and eggs. Children usually develop allergies to milk, eggs and wheat by school age.
What can I do myself?
If you or your child reacts to foods, you should avoid eating certain types of food. A distinction is made between allergic and non-allergic hypersensitivity reactions to food. A food allergy generally requires that one must avoid eating this food. The most common foods that cause allergies are milk protein, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten (celiac) and soy.
If you or your child has a pollen allergy, there are several things you can do yourself:
- Follow the pollen warning and start with allergy medication well in advance, preferably one month before the season begins
- Stay indoors on days where there is a wide spread, good weather and strong winds.
- Limit aeration of houses and air out in the evening where pollen emissions are lowest.
- It is recommended to sleep with the window closed.
- Install pollen filter in the car.
- Shower and wash your hair before going to bed.
- Wash your pillowcase often.
- The nose can be rinsed with saline spray several times daily. Do this before using your nasal spray.
What can Eyr help with?
Give medical advice to you and / or your child about allergies.
Start treatment and prescribe medication for allergies.
Refer to a specialist if needed.
If you already have a prescription, you can easily renew your prescription with Eyr.
Reference: Norwegian Medical Handbook, NEL
Edited and medically quality assured by Dr. Theresa Franck, specialist in general medicine.