Stages of Allergic Reaction Q&A
Learn more about the different stages of allergic reactions and what triggers them. Visit Piniella Asthma + Allergy Center for more information. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Coral Gables FL and Palmetto Bay FL.
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Many different things can cause allergies, including dust, pollens, dander, chemicals, and foods. Some people have multiple allergies, while others are only mildly allergic to one or two things. In most cases, it is impossible to know for sure what caused an allergy without consulting with an allergist; they can provide a wide number of tests to determine the cause of the allergies. Receiving an accurate diagnosis is important in order to avoid specific triggers and environmental factors that are triggering or exacerbating allergies.
An allergic reaction can occur when the immune system responds to an allergen, a substance that is normally harmless but induces a reaction in some people with hypersensitivities. In the case of an allergic reaction, an allergen triggers the release of histamine into the body, which causes the body to fight back with an immune response, often resulting in symptoms such as itchy skin, watery eyes, and runny nose.
An allergic reaction causes the body’s immune system to enter a defensive state and starts when first coming into contact with a trigger that was inhaled, swallowed or touched. In response, the immune system starts producing a protein known as IgE (immunoglobulin E), which attaches itself to the allergen. Following this, histamine and other chemicals are released into the blood, resulting in allergic symptoms.
The four types of allergic reactions are:
• Type I — The most common allergic reaction, Type I, or anaphylactic reactions, are triggered by allergens like pollen, certain foods, dust mites, and pet dander. Type I reactions are characterized by the release of histamine and other chemicals, resulting in swelling and inflammation in the body.
• Type II — Also known as cytotoxic reactions, Type II reactions occur when IgG or IgM antibodies bind with antigens on the surface of the cell. This causes a chain of reactions, ultimately resulting in cell death. Symptoms occur minutes or hours after exposure.
• Type III — Also linked to IgG and IgM antibodies, Type III, or immunocomplex reactions occur when these antibodies bind with antigens, forming immunocomplexes that settle on tissues and organs. When the body attempts to remove these complexes, it results in damages to the underlying tissue.
• Type IV — Cell-mediated allergic reactions in Type IV are also referred to as delayed allergic reactions; this is because symptoms manifest at least 24 hours after coming into contact with the allergen.
Common triggers of allergic reactions include:
• Pollen, which often results in:
• Itchy eyes, nose, or roof of the mouth
• Runny, stuffy nose
• Watery eyes, redness, or swelling
• Dust mites, which often cause:
• Itchy eyes
• Watery eyes
• Localized rash
• Mold, which can lead to symptoms like:
• Itchy and watery eyes
• Runny nose
• Animal dander and cockroaches, which can cause:
• Itchy and watery eyes
• Insect stings, which can cause symptoms of:
• Trouble breathing
• Swelling, especially around the face
• Belly cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
• Feeling dizzy or losing consciousness
• Latex, which may lead to:
• Teary, irritated eyes
• Runny nose
• Food, causing symptoms of:
• Wheezing or trouble breathing
• Swelling around the mouth
• Drugs, with symptoms including:
• Itchy eyes & skin
• Belly pain, nausea, vomiting
• Swelling in the mouth, throat, hands, and feet
• Feeling lightheaded or passing out
If you are experiencing allergies, trust the professionals at Piniella Asthma + Allergy to provide you with top-level care. Call us today to book an appointment with our allergist; we have two Florida locations to better care for you: Coral Gables, FL, and Palmetto Bay, FL. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Coral Gables FL, Palmetto Bay FL, Westchester FL, Brownsville FL, Kendall FL, Pinecrest FL, Richmond West FL, and Goulds FL.