A person experiences an allergic reaction when a part of our immune system or the whole body reacts to a substance that is usually harmless. Therefore, an allergy is an exaggerated reaction by our immune system in response to contact with foreign substances. It is estimated that almost 35 percent of the human population will suffer from allergies at some point in their lifetime.
Furthermore, it is also reported that approximately 50 million North Americans are affected by one type of allergies or the other. The total cost of allergies treatment in the United States is more than $10 billion a year.
Nasal allergies, commonly called allergic rhinitis affects about 40 million Americans and about 6 million of them are estimated to be children. In another vein, asthma affects about 5 million American children out of the total 15 million in the US. The incidences of asthma cases have doubled over the past few years.
Over time, the common misunderstanding about allergies is that it can only be caused by the substances that trigger it: allergens. Although allergens may be the precipitating event that causes most of the allergenic signs and reactions, the basic problem is a weakened, compromised, and out-of-balance immune system as a result of health and lifestyle modifications and mismanagement.
As it is already known, the immune system is the body’s organized defense entity against any invaders or infections. Its main role is to detect and react to these invaders which are called antigens. Antigens refer to any substances that are capable of causing the production of antibodies, although, they may or may not lead to an allergic reaction.
Allergens, on the other hand, are certain antigens that cause an allergic reaction and the development of Immunoglobulin E (IgE). The goal of the immune system is to mobilize its forces at the site of foreign substances and destroy its enemy. Examples of allergens include molds, dust mite, foods, dander, etc.
Allergies can develop at any age, if possible, even in the womb. Usually, they occur in children, but some also produce symptoms when they’ve reached adulthood. Nasal allergies often tend to reduce in old age while asthma may persist in adults.
Lungs, throats, eyes, skin, stomach, and nose are some of the parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies very quickly. Although several allergic diseases may be different, they are all produced from an exaggerated immune response to foreign substances.
Allergies come from many sources. Hence, it is not always easy to come up with a single treatment for all types of allergy.
Likewise, allergy relief can come in many forms and shapes of medications and treatments, which are available through many over-the-counter drugs at your local pharmacy, often prescribed by your allergist. The best way to fight antigens is to avoid coming in contact with the specific allergen that affects the individual.
Hay fever, popularly called allergic rhinitis is the most common type of allergic diseases and is the seasonal nasal signs that result from pollens. Often accompanied by a clogged or runny nose, the symptoms include sneezing, coughing, postnasal drip, allergic shiners, and itching eyes, throat and nose. The perennial or year-round allergic rhinitis often results from animal dander, mold, dust mites, and other indoor allergens.
In the case of asthma, it is a breathing problem that fallout from the spasm and inflammation of the bronchial tubes (lung’s air passages). As a result, the inflammation results in the thinning of the air passages, which restricts the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Most often but not always, asthma is related to allergies. The most common symptoms include difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Urticaria, commonly called hives, are skin reactions that appear as itchy swellings and can be seen on any part of the body.
Allergic eczema is also an allergic reaction that is usually not caused by skin contact with allergens. Some of its symptoms include rash on the eyes and face, redness, dryness, and itching of the skin.
A lot of effective medicines are available for the treatment of allergies. All you have to do is to consult your physician to get the appropriate treatment. By combining proper lifestyle, avoidance and the right medicine, you will be free from allergies as there are many high quality nutritional supplements that can help, such as Vitamin C with its natural antihistamine effects.
Vitamin C is also effective against scarlet fever, colds, and flu. High doses of vitamin C have successfully cured specific allergies. Quercetin also has a powerful and natural antihistamine effect, which can relieve allergy symptoms.
Also, the plant called eyebright provides an efficient topical treatment and continues to be used primarily as a poultice for treatment of eye inflammations. Essential fatty acids (EFA) also help minimize inflammatory responses associated with allergies. Thymus extract is also documented to be effective against allergies, including food allergies, hay fever, and asthma. Probiotics help the cells in the lining of the colon to enhance health and control the penetration of potential allergens. Spirulina also acts against allergic reactions by limiting the release of histamines.
The supplements for food allergies are the Protease enzymes, which reduce inflammatory responses and allergic reactions by digesting proteins and may be helpful for people with food allergies. Eating foods that aid digestive enzymes, such as Betadine hydrochloride, also help in the digestion of food and lower the likelihood of food sensitivities.
Apart from using these medications, you must prioritize prevention measures to avoid allergies; eat the foods that support the immune system, drink a lot of water, and avoid smoking.