Allergy symptoms differ depending on the type of allergy. Allergy symptoms typically involve the airways, sinuses, nasal passages and skin. They can range from mild to severe.
Some patients may develop anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction that causes swelling in the throat and breathing difficulties. Symptoms may develop within seconds of exposure and include abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, rapid pulse, heart palpitations, inflammation of the face and eyes and mental confusion. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency; without prompt treatment, patients can go into shock or cardiac arrest.
Seasonal allergies are among the most common. Often referred to as hay fever, they are the result of molds or pollen from various flowering plants, grasses and trees. Since some plants only grow and flower at a certain time of year and some molds grow better in different weather conditions, these allergies may only affect you during specific seasons. Common symptoms include nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, watery eyes and postnasal drip.
It’s unlikely that a skin allergy would go unnoticed; the redness, swelling, itchiness, hives, rash, and peeling or flaking skin are dead giveaways. There are many potential sources of skin allergies including beauty products and cosmetics, perfumes, topical ointments, household solvents, latex, insect stings, certain medications and poisonous plants (such as poison ivy, oak and sumac).
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from food allergies. They are most common in young children but can affect people of all ages. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include hives, stomach cramps, vomiting, wheezing, cough, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, difficulty breathing, weak pulse, pale skin and dizziness. Any food can trigger a reaction, but the majority of food allergies occur in response to peanuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, fish, wheat and soy.
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