When you think of allergies, what immediately springs to mind – Hay Fever? Food intolerance? Anaphylaxis? The thing is, when we talk about allergies we are talking about a plethora of conditions; some severe, some mild. 
So, what could you do to enhance your knowledge, understanding and ability to cope in dangerous situations as well as your ability to enhance your own health and well-being? 
Course Detective coursedetective.co.uk offers plenty of courses that are fully funded that deal with all sorts of medical conditions (including allergies) and social well-being. You probably want to take a look, and after reading my blog, I think you will feel you have to take a look! 
What is an allergy? 
It is the body’s abnormal response to an otherwise harmless substance, such as pollen, foodstuffs, house dust/mites etc. Most people are not bothered by these substances, but some react mildly to them, with localised itching or a mild rash, maybe sneezing and or a runny nose, amongst other mild responses. In more severe cases these auto-immune responses can cause anaphylaxis, which can lead to respiratory obstruction and collapse, which can sometimes be fatal. 
In the UK, 40% of children are diagnosed with allergies. Most commonly, food allergies, eczema, asthma, and hay fever. These allergies can affect a child’s day to day life, health, education, and social activities. This can be stressful for everyone, children, and parents alike, with parents trying everything to protect their child from the allergen triggers. Studying the reasons for an allergic reaction can really help a parent deal with these sometimes debilitating allergies – knowledge is, after all, POWER!! 
Without trying to scare-monger anyone, it is also true to say that anaphylaxis is a very real threat in some cases. Anaphylactic shock requires immediate attention, with treatment being the use of an Adrenaline Auto Injector (AAI) sometimes known as an EpiPen. It is suggested that around 20 deaths occur each year due to anaphylaxis. The most common causes of anaphylaxis are: 
· Food – peanuts, cow’s milk, egg, fish, sesame and fruits like kiwi 
· Medication – penicillin 
· Stings – bee, wasp 
· Blood products – transfusions 
· Latex – found in some disposable gloves (for instance) 
Signs of a moderate allergic reaction are: 
· Swollen lips, face, eyes 
· Itchy/tingling mouth 
· Urticaria (Hives or nettle rash) 
· Abdominal pain 
· Vomiting 
· Sudden change in behaviour 
If any of these symptoms are experienced in conjunction with any the following, then the person is suffering with anaphylaxis: 
· Airway – hoarse voice, swollen tongue and difficulty swallowing 
· Breathing – persistent cough, wheeze, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
· Circulation – floppy, pale, sleepy/persistent dizziness 
So without suggesting that 20 deaths per year is a lot of deaths, it is surely worth ensuring you have the knowledge to assist anyone who looks like they may be suffering from an allergic reaction, be that anaphylaxis or not. 
Most allergies are not life threatening, but can be really debilitating for the sufferer, so finding out exactly what is causing the reaction is really important. Your doctor might suggest a skin prick test, which is exactly as the name suggests – a drop of the substance that may be causing the reaction is applied to the skin, thenthe skin is pricked gently, and if an itchy red bump appears within 15 minutes the allergy is confirmed. Equally your GP may decide to perform a blood test to analyse the antibodies produced by the immune system. Once a diagnosis is reached various drug therapies may be tried, including antihistamines. 
I have personally signed myself up for one of these funded courses (www.coursedetective.co.uk) as I myself have many different allergies and I think it would benefit me and my family if my knowledge was better. If we all had better knowledge of allergies, we could support each other and hopefully be wise enough to step into action if someone is suffering a severe allergic reaction. 
Share this post:
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings