What Happens In Allergies
In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system produces IgE antibodies to that allergen. Those antibodies then cause certain cells in the body to release chemicals into the bloodstream, one of which is histamine .
The histamine then acts on the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract and causes the symptoms of the allergic reaction. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this antibody response again. This means that every time you come into contact with that allergen, you’ll have some form of allergy symptoms.
Control Indoor Allergens To Improve Indoor Air Quality
Allergy and asthma control begins at home. Many people with allergies stay indoors when pollen and mold is high. But dust mites, pet dander and even cockroaches can cause problems indoors.1
The;Environmental Protection Agency recommends three ways you can improve indoor air quality2:
- Control your contact with indoor airborne allergens
- Ventilate your indoor areas well
- Use air cleaners to clean indoor air
Eight out of 10 people in the United States are exposed to dust mites. Six out of 10 are exposed to cat or dog dander. Cockroaches cause allergic reactions in people who live in the inner cities or southern parts of the United States.;3
Better air quality in your home, office, school;and car can reduce allergy and asthma triggers.
Can Allergies Go Away With Time
The short answer is yes.
Even if you develop allergies as an adult, you may notice they start to fade again when you reach your 50s and beyond.
This is because your immune function is reduced as you get older, so the immune response to allergens also becomes less severe.
Some allergies you have as a child may also go away when youre a teen and well into your adulthood, perhaps making only a few appearances throughout your life until they disappear permanently.
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Do Allergies Get Worse With Exposure
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How To Deal With Allergies Caused By Your Dog
You may want a dog, but are concerned about your allergies or those of a family member. Or you may have a dog and know that your allergy is a problem. The good news is that dogs and people with allergies can live together.
What causes allergies from dogs? Allergies are caused by a reaction to certain proteins found primarily in oil secretions from a dogs skin and in a dogs saliva. It is not hair itself that causes allergies. When your dog sheds hair or its skin flakes, proteins are carried into the environment where they may cause an allergic reaction.
Some people report developing immunity to their dog. Others grow out of the allergy, but don’t depend on it if youre getting a new dog. It is possible that an allergic reaction worsens with greater exposure.
Are there hypoallergenic dogs? Contrary to what you may have heard, “hypoallergenic” dogs do not exist. It is suggested that the hair of some breeds helps prevent more allergens getting into the environment, but many report just as strong a re,action to these dogs. A small dog may provoke less allergic reaction than a larger one simply because he has less skin and hair to shed.
Employ diligence in the home to limit allergies:
Ask your own physician about the possibility of prescribing anti-allergenic drugs or ask for suggestions to manage the problem.
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Reason #: Cutting Corners
Nonadherence — that is, not doing all you can, all the time, to control your allergies — is the No. 1 reason people fail to do well with their allergy treatment, says Baruch Friedman, MD, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University and chief of the allergy and clinical immunology division at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore.
Allergist Myron Zitt, MD, of the Mid Island Allergy Group in New York, agrees. He is allergic to dogs and, though he knows better, owns one. Zitt continues to have symptoms, but is willing to “grin and bear it” because he loves the family pet.
Every day, Zitt treats patients who are in similar predicaments â they can’t bear to lose an animal, quit smoking, or stop eating cheese â and, as a result, they keep having problems with allergies despite treatment.
“They are constantly being bombarded by allergens and are not as responsive to medication,” Zitt tells WebMD. “They are always exposed to the allergens that trigger an inflammatory process.”
“People want a quick fix and don’t want to do some basic, fundamental things that can make them better,” he says.
When Allergies Typically Develop
Most people remember first getting allergy symptoms at a young age about 1 in 5 kids have some kind of allergy or asthma.
Many people outgrow their allergies by their 20s and 30s, as they become tolerant to their allergens, especially food allergens such as milk, eggs, and grains.
But its possible to develop an allergy at any point in your life. You may even become allergic to something that you had no allergy to before.
It isnt clear why some allergies develop in adulthood, especially by ones 20s or 30s.
Lets get into how and why you can develop an allergy later in life, how you can treat a new allergy, and whether you can expect a new allergy or an existing one to go away with time.
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A New Place Means Potential New Allergy Symptoms
Allergies, especially the seasonal variety, can change a lot over a lifetime, but it might not have anything to do with your body. Every place you live has its own set of allergens, so moving from one town to the next will likely change your allergies too. Teens moving out of their parents houses or adults changing jobs may experience a sudden surge of allergies, or sweet, sneeze-less relief.
It also takes time to become allergic to things. You may not feel a reaction to ragweed during your first summer in Tennessee, but have a full-blown allergy the next. Thats because you became sensitized one year and reacted the next. Similarly, you may visit someone with a dog and seem fine, but sneeze constantly the next time you hang out at their home.
How Does A Person Become Allergic
Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergic reactions, such as hay fever, certain types of asthma, and hives are linked to an antibody produced by the body called immunoglobulin E . Each IgE antibody can be very specific, reacting against certain pollens and other allergens. In other words, a person can be allergic to one type of pollen, but not another. When a susceptible person is exposed to an allergen, the body starts producing a large quantity of similar IgE antibodies. The next exposure to the same allergen may result in an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary depending on the type and amount of allergen encountered and the manner in which the body’s immune system reacts to that allergen.
Allergies can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Generally, allergies are more common in children. However, a first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission. Hormones, stress, smoke, perfume, or environmental irritants may also play a role in the development or severity of allergies.
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Articles On Seasonal Allergies
Do your eyes water on windy days? Are you always stuffy when it rains? That’s no surprise. Weather is a common allergy trigger.
The connection between your symptoms and the weather depends on what youâre allergic to. Here are a few common triggers:
- Dry, windy days. Wind blows pollen into the air, causing hay fever. If you have pollen allergies, shut the windows and stay indoors on windy days.
- Rainy or humid days. Moisture makes mold grow, both indoors and out. Dust mites also thrive in humid air. But if you’re allergic to pollen, humid or damp days are good. The moisture weighs down the pollen, keeping it on the ground.
- Cold air. Many people with allergic asthma find that cold air is a problem, especially when they exercise outside. It can trigger a coughing fit.
- Heat. Air pollution is worst on hot summer days. Ozone and smog can be a serious trigger for people with allergic asthma.
The change of seasons also has a big effect on allergies.
Your Body On Allergies
So what exactly is happening in your body when youre exposed to an allergen like pollen ?
Essentially what happens is your immune system decides that it wants to become hyper-sensitive, or allergic, to something. So your immune system recognizes pollen as foreign and it releases a big amount of a chemical called histamines into your blood stream. What the histamine does is triggers this whole immune, or inflammatory, cascade of itchy, watery eyes and stuffy or runny nose. Some people are unlucky and it can be even more severe where they can have breathing problems, asthma attacks, and even bad skin reactions, like flare-ups of eczema, hives or rashes from it as well, because we have histamines and allergy cells throughout our entire body.
So why are you dying a slow death at your desk, while your co-worker just has the sniffles?
The severity of the immune response, and triggered symptoms vary from person to person. Just like any medical illness its a spectrum, where some people have a very severe, strong reaction where more body systems are involved and some people have it milder, says Parikh. Even within the same body system: For one person the itching in their eyes may be very mild, but Ive seen patients come in where their eyes are swollen shut.
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Avoiding Exposure To Allergens
The best way to keep your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you’re allergic to,;although this is not always practical.
For example, you;may be able to help;manage:
- food allergies;by being careful about what you eat
- animal allergies by keeping pets outside as much as possible and washing them regularly
- mould allergies by;keeping your home dry and well-ventilated, and dealing with any damp and condensation
- hay fever by;staying indoors and avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high
- dust mite allergies by;using allergy-proof duvets and pillows, and fitting wooden floors rather than carpets
Treating Severe Allergic Reactions
Some people with severe allergies may experience life-threatening reactions,;known as;anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
If you’re at risk of this, you’ll be given special injectors containing a medicine called adrenaline to use in an emergency.
If you develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as difficulty breathing, you should inject yourself in the outer thigh before seeking emergency medical help.
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Myths About Seasonal Allergies
If youre one of the many with seasonal allergies, Im sure youve had well-meaning friends try to offer helpful advice. But then it turns out their advice is just a rumor or myth theyve heard somewhere. Of course, they have absolutely no evidence.
Were here to help with those. Well talk you through some common statements about allergies and tell you whether theyre true or a myth.
Are Allergies In Kids Different Than In Adults
It can be especially difficult to control allergies in kids, Dr. Leeds says, adding that kids tend to spend more time outdoors and, thus, are exposed to more pollen. A high pollen count day is not going to deter them from going to the playground, says Dr. Leeds. Thats unlike an adult who might say, ‘Im going to drive my car to work, keep the windows rolled up, and not take that walk during lunch.’
Another difference is that allergies in adults are usually well-established, while in kids there is the hope that they will outgrow them, Dr. Leeds says.
With kids, we talk about the concept of atopy, which is an allergic predisposition, she says. For a child with a strong family history of any allergiesand especially for those who develop symptoms early in lifedoctors look out for the four main allergic diseases: eczema, food allergies, nasal allergies, and asthma. These allergic diseases, in general, are increasing in prevalence, she says.;
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What Is An Allergic Reaction
Allergic or hypersensitive reaction is excessive sensitivity exhibited by your immune system to a conventionally harmless substance such as pollen, dust and certain foods. These substances are not dangerous in the majority of the people, but when they trigger allergic reactions, they are called allergens. Allergic reactions occur when the allergens contact the skin, are inhaled, swallowed or injected.;
Allergic reactions are quite common and may happen seconds to hours after contact with the allergen. Though many allergic reactions are mild, others may be dangerous or life-threatening. They may be localized, involving a small part of the body or may affect a large area orthe whole body.
An allergic reaction begins with touching, inhaling or swallowing an allergen. In response to this trigger, the body starts making a type of protein called IgE or immunoglobulin E. IgE leads to the release of some chemicals in the body. These chemicals cause the inflammatory symptoms of allergic reactions such as rash, itching and sneezing.;
Allergy Cures: The Truth Behind 10 Myths
Sniffling, sneezing and perplexed? Allergies are frequently misunderstood. Get a better grip on this condition, so you can avoid triggers and manage symptoms…One in five Americans has allergies and the numbers are growing. So are misconceptions and myths about the condition.Allergy symptoms congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, sleeplessness, stuffy nose, and hives are caused when the immune system reacts to normally harmless particles as if they were threatening the body. If allergies are making you miserable, dont add to your suffering. Learn whats fact and fiction and clear your head.Myth #1: Moving to a dry climate will cure your allergies.True. A dramatic move may work if youre allergic to dust mites, which thrive in hot, wet climates and die when the humidity falls below 40%, according to the American College of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology in Arlington Heights, Ill.But allergens are everywhere, says Kelly Stone, M.D., a staff clinician at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Before you pack up for the desert, consider this:
- Regional plants pollinate year-round all over the country.
- The allergy-triggering cockroach is in every state.
- Cats and dogs shed hair everywhere.
Common triggers include:
- Insect stings
- Foods including eggs, dairy, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts
Myth #5: You can build a tolerance to allergy medications.False.
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Getting Help For Allergies
See a GP if you think you or your child might have had an allergic reaction to something.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction;can also;be caused by other conditions.
A GP can help determine whether it’s likely you have an allergy.
If they think you might have a;mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to help manage the condition.
If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they;may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.
Who Usually Gets It
Between 10 and 30 percent of the world experiences hay fever. In the USA, 7.8 percent of adults struggle with hay fever, and up to 10 percent of children .
If you have a parent or sibling with allergies, unfortunately youre more likely to get it. Also, if you have asthma or eczema, youre also more likely to experience seasonal allergies .
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Investing In A Quality Vacuum
It isnt fair that you have to suffer from allergies and clean more often to feel better, but such is life. Pollen and other allergens can get trapped in your rugs and carpets and continue to haunt you, so get to the root of the issue by sucking these allergens out of your house.
One Hoover model is especially good for combating pet hair. A Dyson is also adept at capturing pet hair, allergens and truly anything else on your floors . Or you can go with an iRobot, which is strong on dust and best of all hands-free.
You may want to ask a family member or roommate to empty the vacuum for you so you dont have to suffer from all of the allergens youve finally captured.
Is It Allergies Or A Cold
When youre allergies flare up, you may be quick to assume its a cold, which is a logical assumption, since they present similar symptoms.
A lot of the symptoms are almost identical: very bad nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, watery noes and eyes, says Parikh. But generally colds shouldnt last you more than a week 3-5 days on average whereas allergy symptoms can last weeks to months at a time.
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