If an individual has goose allergy, it typically occurs once the immune system reacts upon exposure to goose feathers, skin or excrement. Once an adverse reaction occurs, the immune system will produce immunoglobulin E antibodies to protect the body against the perceived threat. It is important to note that goose products are not harmful to those who are not allergic. On the other hand, those who suffer from goose allergy can experience symptoms that typically involve the skin, sinus, digestive tract and the airways.
What are the risk factors?
There are three main risk factors in the development of any type of allergy. Initially, the family history has a big role. There is a higher risk for allergies if any of the family members have allergies such as hay fever or hives. Second is the age since children usually develop allergies more frequently than the adults. On the other hand, children often outgrow their allergies but can return at any point. Lastly, other allergies or asthma can increase the risk for allergies. Individuals who have a single type of allergic reaction or even asthma are at risk for developing another type of allergy.
Symptoms of goose allergy
Always bear in mind that the symptoms of goose allergy are not severe in most cases but can be annoying. There are various symptoms that can occur among those who have goose allergies.
- Itchy and runny nose
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Sore and swollen eyes
- Chronic sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Scratchy throat
- Skin welts
- Itchy skin
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Red-colored skin
What are the diagnostic tests performed?
In most cases, a skin test is performed in order to determine if goose products are responsible for triggering an allergic response. During a skin test, a small amount of the allergen is placed on or below the skin to check if a reaction develops. Take note that there are three types of skin tests that can be performed – skin prick test, skin patch test and intradermal test.
A blood test can also be carried out to determine if there are antibodies present in the blood. The commonly used blood test is the (ELISA) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This test measures the amount of immunoglobulin E present in the body.
Medical treatment for goose allergy
Goose allergy can be easily detected and the appropriate first aid care and treatment can be given to help control the allergy symptoms. In some cases, allergy shots or immunotherapy can also be administered.
Over-the-counter antihistamines work by blocking histamine that is produced by the body during an allergic reaction in order to ease the symptoms. On the other hand, antihistamines do not work for everyone. This medication is not indicated for women who are breastfeeding, individuals who have narrow-angle glaucoma or those who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Oral steroids, nasal sprays and eye drops are also used in treating the symptoms of goose allergy.
Individuals who suffer from goose allergy must avoid any exposure to the allergen. Regardless of the goose product that triggers an allergic reaction, the individual must observe proper precautions in order to minimize the risk for exposure.