An allergy can refer to several kinds of immune reactions including Type I hypersensitivity in which a person’s body is hypersensitised and develops IgE type antibodies to typical proteins. When a person is hypersensitised, these substances are
known as allergens. The word allergy derives from the Greek words allos meaning “other” and ergon meaning “work”. Type I hypersensitivity is characterised by excessive activation of mast cells and basophils by immunoglobulin E resulting in a systemic inflammatory response that can result in symptoms as benign as a runny nose, to life-threatening anaphylactic shock and death.
Allergy is a very common disorder and more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergic diseases. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, costing the health care system $18 billion annually.Hyposensitization is a form of immunotherapy where the patient is gradually vaccinated against progressively larger doses of the allergen in question. This can either reduce the severity or eliminate hypersensitivity altogether. It relies on the progressive skewing of IgG (“the blocking antibody”) production, as opposed to the excessive IgE production seen in hypersensitivity type I cases. Delivery can occur via allergy injection, or sublingual immunotherapy, allergy drops taken under the tongue. Though not commonly offered in the U.S., sublingual immunotherapy is gaining attention internationally.
A second form of immunotherapy involves the intravenous injection of monoclonal anti-IgE antibodies. These bind to free and B-cell IgE signalling such sources for destruction. They do not bind to IgE already bound to the Fc receptor on basophils and
mast cells as this would stimulate the allergic inflammatory response. The first agent in this class is omalizumab.An experimental treatment form, enzyme potentiated desensitization, has been tried with some success but is not in widespread use. EPD uses dilutions of allergen and an enzyme, beta-glucuronidase, to which T-regulatory lymphocytes respond by favouring desensitization, or down-regulation, rather than sensitization. EPD is also under development for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
More than 20% of Americans suffer from the oh-so-lovely symptoms of allergies. You know what they are: itchy, watery eyes, sore throats, sneezing, just to name a few. Those who are affected deeply also experience headaches and low-grade fevers. (This is their body’s way of trying to fight the attack.)
Allergies are genetic. This means if your parents had allergies, you have a higher chance of getting them too.
The Bad and the Good News
Over the counter drugs have side affects, as do prescription medicines. Before you get to the point of: ?I don?t care I just want to get my nose to stop running!? check out these natural methods to lessen the symptoms of allergies.
Close those Windows!
The weather is nice and open windows let you enjoy the cool breeze. Unfortunately, the nice breeze brings pollens and molds, which are often allergy culprits. During peak pollen season, drive with your car windows closed.
Since allergy season tends to be during spring and fall, take the time to thoroughly clean your home at least twice a year.Be sure to dust off those bookshelves and clean your air conditioning and heating vents. When not in use, they are well-loved resting places for dust and mold.
Bring Home Spiders
Spider Plants, that is. These plants are incredible – they are able to absorb many of the toxins in your home. They are also very easy to take care of. And for those of us who may forget to water a plant here and there, take heart: spider plants are very forgiving and low maintenance.
Wash that Pollen Out of Your Hair
Mitzi Gaynor may have needed to wash a man out of her hair – to no avail. Luckily, washing pollen out is much easier.
Consider taking showers at night to get rid of your daily pollen collection. Pets (and children!) can be pollen carriers too, so be sure to suds them up!
Keep Your Immune System Up
Restful sleep and eating whole foods will be the boost your body needs to stay strong. Supplements and daily vitamins are necessary to keep your immune system running top-notch. If your body?s running at its best, it will be able to combat those pollens, molds, and spores much easier.