What is allergies?
The number of allergies to various factors is still increasing - almost 40% of Poles are allergic to various factors, although not everyone knows about it, because its symptoms are not always obvious. What are allergies and how can you fight them?
What is allergies, anyway?
The easiest way to answer the question of what allergy is is by saying: it is an excessive response of the body to a factor. Our immune system, in simple terms, works as follows: when a foreign molecule is within a tissue (skin, mucous membrane, blood, internal organs), special cells of the immune system recognize its structure as not belonging to our organism. Then it "decides" whether this molecule is a threat or not. As we are constantly in contact with foreign particles, our cells must ignore most of the signals and not trigger the response to them. In allergy sufferers, this answer, or it is not ignored, is followed by a ejection of histamine and symptoms of allergy appear.
What are the symptoms of allergies?
Symptoms can be different, as the types of allergies are very many, within several different organs. The most common symptoms of allergies, i.e. allergies inhaled to pollen, hair or dust, are rhinitis, sneezing and itching and more serious: allergic sinusitis. Eyes can be red and itchy or even painful. There may also be a cough, a feeling of shortness of breath, and sometimes a wheezing breath. These allergies can also cause rash and itching, called hives. Skin symptoms are more common in contact allergies to washing or rinsing powders, home cleaners, metals, especially nickel, or pet hair. Allergies also include food allergies, manifested by diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and, often, rash. Theoretically, every food product may cause an excessive immune reaction in a predisposed person, but 90% of food allergies are caused by cow's milk proteins, eggs, soya, flour, peanuts and walnuts, fish and seafood.
How can you detect and treat allergies?
The fight against allergy is not easy, especially since it is often difficult to find the cause. Helpful in this can be performed at the doctor's skin tests, which for the most common factors for skin and inhalation allergies and food allergies. Additionally, a diet called aspirin can be used for food allergies, which consists in eliminating for some time almost all potentially allergenic foods and then introducing them into the diet individually. Temporarily, for inhalation and skin allergies occurring periodically, you can take second-generation antihistamines, which do not cause sleepiness. If the symptoms are severely troublesome, you may try desensitising.
We don't know everything about allergies yet, so sometimes it's very difficult to fight them. Fortunately, with the development of science, it is becoming easier to find the cause of it, which makes it easier for us to treat it.