My eyes are watering and won’t stop itching. What do I do?

My eyes are watering and won’t stop itching. What do I do?

Do you find yourself constantly battling itchy, watery eyes or dealing with a nose that seems determined to run a marathon? Perhaps an unexplained rash is driving you to distraction with relentless itching. These discomforts are familiar to many of us, but when they persist, they might be a sign that you’re having an allergic reaction.

Allergies can show up in various ways, and while they can range from minor inconveniences to serious health concerns, they often share common symptoms, such as sneezing, hives, skin redness, swelling, stomach discomfort, or even respiratory issues.

You might think allergies are all about sudden, life-threatening reactions like anaphylactic shock, but there’s more to the story. There are four distinct types of allergic reactions, each with unique characteristics. Let’s explore them together.

Immediate allergic reactions (Type I)

These reactions are like a lightning bolt, happening within seconds to minutes. Anaphylactic reactions are the most severe and can cause life-threatening issues like difficulty breathing and severe swelling. They’re triggered by antibodies in response to allergens like pollen or certain foods.

Cytotoxic reactions (Type II)

Type II reactions take a bit more time, usually minutes to hours. Here, antibodies trigger the immune system’s complement system, potentially leading to autoimmune hemolytic anaemia, immune thrombocytopenia, and autoimmune neutropenia. These reactions are linked to diseases like Goodpasture syndrome and Graves’ disease, adding intrigue to the allergy narrative.

Immune complex-mediated reactions (Type III)

These reactions don’t rush in; they take several hours to show their effects. Antibodies collaborate with allergens to create immunocomplexes, which can contribute to autoimmune conditions like lupus and serum sickness. The complex dance of these antibodies adds depth to our understanding of allergies.

Delayed hypersensitivity reactions (Type IV)

Type IV reactions are patient and can appear hours or even days after exposure. They’re often linked to persistent infections, such as tuberculosis or fungal infections, creating an intricate interplay between the immune system and these pesky invaders.

What should you do if you suspect you have an allergy?

Unchecked symptoms can lead to discomfort and potential complications regardless of the type. For immediate and severe reactions, call 999 and seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms like severe rashes, swelling of the lips or throat, difficulty breathing, or fainting.

For milder allergies, it’s time to take action. Testing can help identify your triggers, allowing you to manage your allergies and regain control over your well-being proactively. Don’t let allergies hold you back; take the first step towards a more comfortable and allergy-aware life.

Take the guesswork out of living a comfortable life. Let’s take the first steps to discover what’s bringing you discomfort. Our allergy experts can guide you through the process, from testing to advice. Simply register as a new patient or call us on 02031 433 449.

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