Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Allergies are a very common problem. Children are more prone to allergies. However, symptoms may reduce as you get older. Again, many people do not have allergy problems in childhood, but later a new allergy may occur. It is possible to keep allergies under control to a great extent if some restrictions are followed.

Symptom of Allergy
Symptom of Allergy

Causes of allergies

The body’s immune system protects us from harmful things. However, sometimes it forgets some things and thinks it is harmful, which is not actually harmful. The symptoms of allergies occur in response to our immune system against these things. For example, the skin becomes red and itchy.

Usually, the things that cause allergies in the body in contact with them include:

  • Certain foods
  • Dust
  • Hot or cold weather
  • Sweating
  • Domestic animals and birds
  • Pollen molecules and flower molecules
  • The sun’s rays
  • Dust Mite
  • Mold or fungus
  • Various medicines
  • Pesticides
  • Detergent and various chemical substances
  • Gloves and condoms made of latex or special type of rubber
  • Stress

List of foods that cause allergies

Foods that are commonly seen to cause allergies include:

  • Shrimp
  • Eggplant
  • Pumpkins
  • Ash gourd
  • Hilsa fish
  • Beef/Red meats
  • The nuts

Apart from this, allergies to eggs and milk can also occur in children.

Each person may have allergies to different types of things or foods. Therefore, it is advisable to note down the type of foods which are allergic. This makes it possible to determine which foods the patient is allergic to. Finding it makes it much easier to keep allergies under control.

Symptoms of allergies

Its reaction occurs in a very short time after the body is exposed to allergic substances. The symptoms of allergies are:

  • Itching, rashes, or rashes on the skin
  • Some parts of the body become wheeled or swollen, blisters and skin fall
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, eyes and mouth
  • Itchy eyes, watery eyes, redness and swelling
  • Dry cough, sneezing, itching in the nose and throat, and nasal congestion
  • Shortness of breath, pressure in the chest, and a snoring sound while breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, stomach biting and diarrhea
Symptom of allergy
Symptom of allergy

You may also like: Allergic Rhinitis: Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

When to go to the doctor

It is important to consult the doctor in the following three cases:

  • If the symptoms do not go away even after taking the medicine
  • If there are new symptoms or if the problem worsens after taking the medicine given by the doctor
  • When a severe allergic reaction occurs

Severe allergic reactions

In very few cases, an emergency called anaphylaxis can arise from a severe reaction to an allergic component. If you do not take quick action in this situation, the patient may die. Such a patient should be taken to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

Here’s how to know if anaphylaxis is happening:

  • Shortness of breath or a snoring sound while breathing
  • Feeling like the chest-throat is getting tight or getting stuck
  • Swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue or throat
  • Lips and skin turning blue
  • Feeling like losing consciousness or becoming completely unconscious
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Palpitations in the chest or the body getting wet with sweat
  • Red rash or rash with itchy skin or swelling of the skin
  • Skin coming up from some areas of the body or blisters

Anaphylaxis can be caused by foods and medications that have allergies, contrasts or dyes used in medical tests, or insect bites.

Treatment of allergies

It is possible to keep allergies under control to a great extent if some restrictions are followed in food habits and lifestyle.

Home Remedies and Lifestyle

Avoid foods and medicines that are allergic. If you have asthma or any other disease of the respiratory tract, follow the doctor’s advice. Physical exercises, yoga, and breathing exercises can be done to deal with stress.



Medicines such as antihistamines are mainly used in the treatment of allergies. They can be consumed as soon as the symptoms appear—even before symptoms appear. For example, if someone is allergic to dust and has to clean his dust for special needs, then antihistamine-like medicines can be taken in advance.

These medicines are available in various forms. For example: tablets, syrups and drops. Note that after taking such medicines, there may be side effects such as sleepiness and dizziness. So in consultation with the doctor, choose the right medicine for you.

Nasal drops/sprays:

Nasal drops/sprays can be used according to the doctor’s prescription for nose congestion problems. However, do not use these drops and sprays for more than a week. Long-term use can cause allergy symptoms to return.

Moisturizing lotion:

Various moisturizing creams and ointments can be used for skin allergies. Calamine lotion and 1% menthol cream work very well in the problem of itching. Apart from this, one can apply ice in the itchy area to get relaxed.


Steroid medications work well in severe allergies. Steroids are very powerful medicines; side effects are also high. So, you should not take these medicines by watching the internet or buying these medicines yourself from the pharmacy. Such medicines should be taken only on the advice of the doctor in accordance with the rules.


Immunotherapy is an effective treatment for allergies. In this treatment, the patient is accustomed to the presence of certain allergens for a long time. As a result, the affected person’s body does not react as strongly to that allergen as before. As a result, it becomes much easier to control the symptoms.

Note: If there is a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis discussed above, the affected person should be taken to the nearest hospital immediately.

Prevention of allergies

The best way to stay free from allergies is to avoid objects that have allergies. Follow the below tips to prevent allergies:

  • Avoid foods that cause allergies.
  • Make domesticated animal-bird habitats outside the home and keep them clean and tidy on a regular basis.
  • To prevent allergies from a type of tiny insect called dust mite, keep the areas of the house where most of the time is spent dust-free and clean. Wash bed sheets, combs, pillows and coating covers, window curtains with warm water at least once a week. Make less use of the things that cannot be washed regularly. For example: Carpets.
  • Apart from this, wear a good mask while arranging and sweeping the bed. Wipe the things that can be wiped with a wet cloth. It won’t spread dust.
  • Keep the home environment dry to protect against fungus or mold. As well as keep a good ventilation system.
  • Avoid drying clothes inside the house.
  • Allergies can occur from heat or sweat. So after working very hard, if the body is hot or sweaty, stay in the place with open air.
  • Always wear loose and pure cotton clothes.
  • Wear mask while going out to prevent allergic rhinitis.
  • Allergies can also be caused by a cold. If so, avoid getting wet in the rain and bathing in the pond. Lukewarm water can be used during bathing.
  • Someone may have an allergy to certain metals. Wearing rings, jewelry and watches made of these metals can cause allergies. If you are allergic to a particular metal, avoid using things made of that metal in daily life.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible during the change of seasons to prevent allergies to the pollen molecules of the flower. Even if you go out, return home, and change the clothes and take a bath, so that the pollen molecules are washed away. However, keep in mind that the fungus does not grow.
  • Avoid walking in the grassy places.
  • There may be allergies to the chemicals present in various cosmetics. For example, chemicals in soap, shampoo, facewash, and perfume. Avoid using products that cause allergies.

Special Information: Breast milk to prevent allergies

There are many benefits of breastfeeding kids. The World Health Organization recommends only breastfeeding a baby until the age of six months. Some studies have shown that at least the first four months after birth, only breastfeeding the baby without giving any solid food can be effective in preventing allergies [1,2].

Tests and diagnosis

To find out the cause of the allergy, the doctor asks various questions and physical examinations to the affected person. Apart from this, check whether any other disease is causing allergy-like symptoms. The important tests to detect allergies are:

Changes in food habits

Foods that are usually allergic are excluded from the diet to see if the allergy comes under control. Later, when you start eating the foods again, it is also tried to see if it come back. Usually, it is advisable to note down the type of foods which are allergic. This makes it possible to determine which foods the patient is allergic to.

Skin test

Substances that cause allergies are called allergens. In the skin test, a little liquid containing the allergen is given on the top of the arm. Then a little hole is made in that place with a needle. If allergies are there , within 15 minutes, the area starts to itch and turns red.

It should be noted that taking antihistamine-like medicines before the test does not provide accurate results.

The blood test

In this test, blood samples are taken to check whether antibodies have been made against a particular allergen.

Patch test

This test checks for the presence of a type of eczema or allergic skin disease called ‘contact dermatitis’ in the body.

The challenge test

This test is done in a few cases. The test must be done in a place where it is possible to get emergency treatment if there is a serious allergic reaction. In this test, if there is an allergy to a particular food, then the allergic reaction is seen by feeding that food to the patient. It is also seen whether the allergic reaction is increasing by gradually increasing the amount of food.

Some Common Questions:

  1. Are allergies contagious?

Ans.: Allergies are not contagious. This is a special reaction of the body. When our immune system forgets the things that are not harmful and thinks of them as enemies, then the symptoms of allergies occur in the body. Different people may have allergies to different things.

2. All the small allergies in my body, what to do?

Ans.: It is possible to keep allergies under control to a great extent if some restrictions are followed in food habits and lifestyle. If necessary, antihistamine-like medicines can be taken according to the doctor’s advice.

3. Does allergies cause shortness of breath?

Ans.: Allergies can cause shortness of breath. If there is already a respiratory disease like asthma, the severity of the disease can increase.


  1. Lodge, Cj, et al. “Breastfeeding and Asthma and Allergies: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Acta Paediatrica, vol. 104, Nov. 2015, pp. 38–53.
  2. Diseases, World Health Organization. Chronic Respiratory, et al. Prevention of Allergy and Allergic Asthma. 1 Jan. 2003, Accessed 30 July 2022.
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