Allergies occur when your body behaves in an abnormal way to a foreign substance with which you come in contact. Usually, your body fights off any threats to your system by producing antibodies that eject the offending substance from your system.
The ejection of foreign particles will most likely result in inflamed skin, sinuses, airways, or the digestive system. Such reactions are likely to manifest as sneezing, coughing, or having watery eyes or itchy skin.
Allergies may be seasonal, which come and go through different times in the year, or they may affect you throughout the year. The difference lies in the substance your body reacts to – the allergen.
If you have allergic rhinitis, your immune system mistakenly identifies a typically harmless substance in your system as a threat. Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is an allergic reaction that typically causes sneezing, congestion, an itchy nose, and a sore throat.
The condition is often triggered by airborne particles, such as dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen from trees and plants. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is not contagious.
Chronic hives or chronic urticaria is a skin rash that appears as dark red, raised, itchy bumps on the skin. Chronic hives are defined by recurrent episodes occurring at least twice a week over a period of six weeks.
Chronic hives are not very common, and about 5% of people may have
them in their lifetime. The condition is usually more prevalent in women than in men.
Chronic hives do not put you at sudden risk of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). However, seek emergency care if you experience hives as part of a severe allergic reaction.
At West Hills Allergy & Asthma Associates, Dr. Rene Anderson-Cowell offers comprehensive allergy diagnosis and treatment options. Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies or have year-round problems, our clinic and staff are well equipped to provide solutions so you can have a better quality of life.
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