Allergy

Any allergy can be considered as an immune response to a foreign matter that does not have harmful effects to the body. The substances that causes allergy is called as allergens. They may be certain food items, pollens, or pet dander.

The body itself has the power to fight against any harmful pathogens or foreign body. Depending upon the nature of allergen, body response varies in the form of symptoms like inflammatory changes, sudden onset of repeated sneezing, rashes or hives in the body etc.

On an average around 10-30% individuals in the world are affected by the allergic conditions. Most common type of allergy is Allergic rhinitis, Asthma and food allergies.

 

COMMON TYPES OF ALLERGIES

Allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is the most common form of allergy and happens due to aeroallergens. This may happen due to indoor allergens, like pet dander, dust or mites. Seasonal variations can lead to seasonal allergic rhinitis. This may be due to pollens, grasses etc.

The common symptoms include:

  • Running nose
  • Severe Sneezing
  • Irritation in the nose, ears and throat
  • Itching in the eyes and throat

 

Asthma

Asthma is an immune compromised situation which is a result of inflammation in the airways which leads to narrowing of the airways. Asthma can happen along with allergic rhinitis. Aggressive exercise also leads to asthmatic attack.

Common symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe cough

 

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis refers to allergic eyes, where there is an inflammation of the tissue layers that covers the surface of eye ball and the surface beneath eyelid.

The general symptoms are:

  • Redness in the eyes
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Itching or Irritation in the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling in the membrane of the eyeballs

 

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema is an allergic reaction that is exhibited over the skin surface. The inflammatory changes that occur in the body results in rashes over the skin.

Common symptoms of Eczema include:

  • Dry skin
  • Itching
  • Common sites where eczema occurs are – face, pit of the elbow and knees, arm pit etc. In severe cases it can occur in the scalp or any parts of the body.

 

Urticaria

 

Urticaria are the skin rashes that looks red in color, raised over the surface, itchy and can occur to any part of the body. The condition is also called as hives.

Acute hives are often as result of allergic reaction to food or medication. In younger adults it may occur as a part of viral infections also. Contact with the pets can also leads to hive.

Urticaria are characterized by

  • Raised rashes over the skin
  • Itching with high intensity
  • Swelling (particularly over the areas of face, feet, stomach, hands and lips)

 

 

According to Ayurveda, allergies are considered as a doshic reaction to specific allergens, such as pollen, dust, chemicals on a rug, ragweed, or any strong chemical smell. These allergic reactions can be classified as per the dosha predominance.

 

Vata predominant Allergies:

These allergies are characterized by bloating of the stomach, gastric discomfort, or even intestinal colic. Vata allergies may lead to sudden wheezing, sneezing, headache, ringing in the ears, or insomnia. For example, few individuals when exposed to dust or pollen, suddenly gets attack of wheezing. This happens due to the narrowing of the brachial tree due to afflicted vayu dosha. The patient may experience insomnia and other vata imbalances also.

 

Pitta dosha predominant Allergies:

Pitta dosha is already present under the skin. If the person comes in contact with an allergen, such as chemicals, ragweed, or certain synthetic fibers, then the pitta penetrates through the capillaries due to its hot and sharp qualities and creates itching in the skin, rashes, hives, urticaria, allergic dermatitis, eczema etc. Patients also exhibits pitta aggravated reactions.

 

Kapha dosha related Allergies:

Most of the times Kapha predominant allergies are experienced during the spring season, when plants and trees shed their pollen into their atmosphere. When these are inhaled, they enter into the nasal passage, and in some people it causes irritation in the mucous membrane leading to allergic rhinitis, fever, cold, congestion, sinus infection or even asthma.

 

In order to treat the allergies effectively, first we need to identify the predominant dosha. In most of the cases, the Prakruti (body constitution) predicts your allergy proneness. A person with pitta predominant nature is most likely to have pitta allergic reactions, especially when the vikruti (vitiated condition) of the system shows a pitta imbalance. Other factors like diet, environmental conditions, and emotional factors can lead to allergies.

 

 

 

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