- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Ideas to control allergies
Understanding allergies and histamine
What are allergies? It's a reaction from our immune system towards foreign pathogen entering our body. The immune system creates a chemical to the inflammatory response called histamine that are used to combat these contaminants. When these pathogens enter our body, certain types of white cells called mast cells releases the histamine. There are different protein receptors which binds with the histamine. In the process it'll cause many discomforts, such as increase in mucus secretion, constriction in the throat, itchiness, and so on. Most common allergies triggers are pollen, dust, dander, food, but there are others that are not as common.
For those with little to no allergies towards the common pathogens, usually have a balance between histamine production and an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO), which breaks down histamine. A shortage of DAO may induce a number of problems similar to those of allergies, this is known as pseudoallergy. The term pseudoallergy is used for those with a lack of DAO production, therefore inducing an allergy like reaction.
Understanding histamine is important to those with allergies, sometimes you might feel an allergy attack even though there aren't anything to trigger it. This may be induced by the lack of diamine oxidase to remove the over production of histamine. The human body requires a certain amount of histamine but when left unchecked it'll become a problem. These symptoms are same as those of allergies set off by pollen, dust, dander. The balanced production of DAO will result in some people having a more or less reaction to allergies.
There are different receptors which binds with histamine, and effect different parts of the system. H1 can be treated with antihistamine such as Benadryl or Claritin, this blocks the receptors from binding with histamines. Most over the counter medications will alleviate most symptoms, it's an individual reaction to medication. For me it does work on most symptoms but not the headaches.
- H1 smooth muscle, endothelial cells - acute allergic responses
- H2 gastric parietal cells - secretion of gastric acid
- H3 central nervous system - modulating neurotransmission
- H4 mast cells, eosinophils, T cells, dentritic cells - regulating immune responses
Are you prone to allergies?
Symptoms of allergies
The symptoms depends on the severity of the reaction, the body might react to pollen from grass but not trees. Common symptoms that are normally associated with allergies are:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Constriction in throat
- Increase secretion of mucus
Asthma triggered by allergies is usually caused by the contriction of the throat through inhaling any contamination which can easily trigger a reaction. Inhalers can help reduce the suffering of asthma, some inhalers are use steroids to help minimize inflammation. Steroids is used to treat inflammation, and it helps by reducing the inflammatory reponse caused by allergies. As mentioned earlier, allergies and medication used to treat the symptoms will work on an indiviual basis.
I suffer from allergies and my causes are a wide array of pathogens, from pollen, dust, dander, any air fragrance, food, and smoke. Taking Benadryl or most over-the-counter medicine works better than any prescription medication for me. Medication will stop any itchy, watery eye, runny nose, sneezing, though it never seem to work with headaches. I always end up taking more than one type of medication when seasonal allergy starts. My allergy triggers my asthma, during Spring and Autumn I try to stay indoors as much as I can to minimize the attacks. I have notice my allergies also react to heat, during the Summer time my allergies also flare up. There are so many reasons for allergies to happen, this made carrying medication a habit when going out.
Keeping allergies under control for those with seasonal allergies is more than possible with medication. Alternatively there are a few possibilities without medication, most of which requires you to be indoors. Most pollen are able to creep into many places from the outside into the house or car. Filters with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration helps in eliminating allergens from the air. Keeping the air as clean as possible is the only way to really be allergy free.
- Keep the area clean
- Use filters that are HEPA approved, change it according to instructions
- Close the windows and check for air leaks
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Some people say humidifiers help, you can try it
- Use AC during allergy season
Allergen filtering purifiers
There are fans or air purifiers that can clean the air of any allergens that are floating around. There are many units out there to do the job, which one would be better for you is an opinion of preference. Most allergen air purifiers use a HEPA filters, which are designed to remove 99.9% particles that are greater the 0.3 micrometer from the air passing the filter.
There is the ionic breeze from Sharper Image which works nicely against allergen too. With the ionic breeze it is cleans the air at a slower rate and is suppose to ionize the air so dust is attracted to the blades. The ionic breeze has a few features that work quite nicely, such as germicidal protection, which helps with removal of bacteria and possibly other organisms as well.