Chicken allergy: Am I allergic?

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Chicken allergy can trigger symptoms in some highly sensitive individuals. It is important to note that the discarded skin cells, saliva and urine of feathered animals can trigger symptoms such as rashes, itchy eyes and runny nose.

Even the excrement of chickens can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. Additionally, allergy to live chickens can worsen the symptoms of rhinitis, eczema and asthma.

Am I allergic?

Allergy to live chickens can worsen the symptoms of rhinitis, eczema and asthma.

The immune system of an individual with chicken allergy reacts to the presence of the foreign particles by releasing antibodies specifically IgE. These IgE antibodies interact with the allergen and the mast cells. As a result, histamine and other inflammatory chemicals are released which triggers the allergy symptoms.

Generally, chicken allergy develops during childhood. Nevertheless, it is likely to develop the allergy as an adult. In some instances, the allergy arises only after repetitive exposure to chickens. The usual routes for the live chicken allergens to enter the body include inhalation via the nose and direct contact with the skin.

Management of chicken allergy

The ideal way to cope with live chicken allergy is to avoid exposure. In case this is impossible, an allergist might suggest ways to alleviate the symptoms.

Certain medications might be prescribed such as antihistamines, corticosteroids or nasal sprays. It is also vital to reduce contact with the airborne particles by using a mask or respirator along with protective clothing if working with the animals.

The symptoms of chicken allergy can be reduced significantly after a course of allergy shots or immunotherapy to establish resistance to the allergen. This approach is ideal in achieving lasting relief to the symptoms.

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