Despite the cold temperature, spring is on the way and some of us are already starting to suffer from seasonal allergies. Did you know 2 out of 10 Americans are affected by allergies? Below are some fact about allergies, what can cause them and how to identify an allergic reaction.

 An allergy is an abnormal response from the immune system to what would usually be a harmless substance in the environment. When the individual comes in contact with the allergen, their body releases chemicals into the blood (Histamine) that causes the common allergic reactions.

 Common Reactions (Airborne or Touched):

–         Itchy, watery eyes

–         Sneezing

–         Itchy, runny nose

–         Rashes

–         Feeling tired or ill

–         Hives (a rash with raised red patches)

Common Reactions (Ingested or Insect):

–         An allergic reaction to food allergens can also cause intestinal discomfort- cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

–          An allergic reaction to a sting from a bee or another insect can cause swelling, redness, and pain in the affected area.

The most severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. This can occur from contact with the above mentioned allergens, but most commonly occur after a bee or other insect stink, or from a food allergy. Symptoms include:

–         Hives and itching all over  

–         Wheezing or shortness of breath

–         Hoarseness or tightness in the throat

–         Tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or scalp

This type of reaction can progress rapidly, is life threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

 There are a wide variety of treatment options including over the counter medications, prescription medication, topical creams, shots and natural remedies.

 If you suffer from allergies consult a doctor to find out what treatment is the best option for you.

The Seltzer Group has locations in Schuylkill Haven, Orwigsburg, and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, serves businesses and individuals locally, regionally, and on the national level.  The Seltzer Group is a proud member of the Keystone Insurers Group, the nation’s 5th largest independent broker.

Allergies was last modified: August 26th, 2014 by Sarah McGorry