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Know about Allergies

October 24, 2011  by: YOH YOH  Points: 12   Category: Health    Views: 402

Allergy is a disorder of the immune system called as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens which are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I hypersensitivity.

         

Allergy is a disorder of the immune system called as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens which are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I hypersensitivity.

Types:

Hay Fever, Hives, Poison Ivy & Plant Allergies, Bee Sting Allergy, Pet Allergies, Latex Allergy, Mold Allergy, Cosmetic Allergies, Drug Allergies, Eczema , Eye Allergies, Food Allergies etc...

Causes:

Risk factors for allergy can be placed in two general categories namely host and environmental factors. Host factors include heredity, sex, race, and age, with heredity being by far the most significant.

Genetic basis - Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children, and their allergies are likely to be more severe than those from non-allergic parents. Some allergies, however, are not consistent along genealogies.

Hygiene Hypothesis - Individuals living in too sterile an environment are not exposed to enough pathogens to keep the immune system busy so if they expose themselves to any allergic substance they become allergic.

Environmental factors - Allergic diseases are more common in industrialized countries than in countries that are more traditional or agricultural, and there is a higher rate of allergic disease in urban populations versus rural populations.

Symptoms:

. Skin itching

. Sneezing

. Coughing

. Anaphylaxis

. Postnasal drip itching eyes

. Watery eyes conjunctivitis

Diagnosis:

. Skin testing - small amounts of suspected allergens are introduced using a metal device to prick the skin. Some times if the patient is allergic to the substance, then a visible inflammatory reaction will usually occur within 30 min and its range from slight reddening of the skin to a full-blown hive.

. Blood testing - measures a total IgE level.

. Radiometric assay - include the radioallergosorbent test (RAST) test method, which uses IgE-binding antibodies labeled with radioactive isotopes for quantifying the levels of IgE antibody in the blood.

. Other newer methods use colorimetric or fluorometric technology in the place of radioactive isotopes.

Treatment:

Treatment of allergies can be carried by immunotherapy, chemotherapy and hygienic life style.

Medications - these are necessary to stop the action of allergic mediators and degranulation processes they include:

. Antihistamines block the action of histamine, which is responsible for allergic reaction they are fexofenadine, Cetirizine, diphenhydramine, clemastrine.

. Decongestants administered via spray to unclog nasal passages they are oxymetazoline and phenylephrine.

. Steroid nasal sprays include fluticonase, mometasone, triamcinolone and beclomethasone administered via spray to silent the inflammatory response.

Others ways are,

. Don't allow dander-producing animals in the house.

. Enclose mattress, box springs and pillows in plastic barrier cloth.

. Go for cotton clothing or synthetic materials.

. Keep windows and doors closed during heavy pollination season.

. Remove carpets and upholstered furniture (drastic measure).

. Rid the home of indoor plants and other sources of mildew.

. Stay indoors in the morning, when the pollen count is at its highest and on windy days.

. Use a dehumidifier.

. Use air filters.

. Wash sheets, mattress pad and blankets weekly in hot water (at least 130F).

. Wear a pollen mask while cleaning houses or going around grasses.

Prevention:

. Avoid exposure to tobacco smoking

. Avoid damp housing conditions

. Breast feed until 6 months (in children)

http://www.yohyoh.com/health/online-doctor/diseases/ent/allergies/

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