For the most part, allergies are simply just an annoyance. They make it hard to think straight. They make us itch, wheeze, cause runny noses and watery eyes together with a long list of other irritating symptoms. Allergies are very seldom life-threatening although some folk tend to be so hypersensitive to wasp venom they could die as a result of a single sting, if not treated quickly, Bronchial asthma can have serious consequences too.
The precise reasons for allergic reactions continue to be an area of intensive research, although a strong hereditary element is virtually certain. Sufficient is already known that these issues can be minimized or, in some instances, eliminated.
All allergies types are an immune system overreaction, one typically producing histamine, prostaglandin along with other compounds. The result is the common membrane inflammation, which produces the actual symptoms.
Mold and pollen are typical allergens, which produce this reaction. Cat and, to a lesser degree, dog dander are a couple more. Dust mites, specifically their waste matter and decaying bodies, introduce proteins to which many folk are allergic. Fungi and other airborne allergens can encourage asthma attacks and also cause lung health problems.
Food allergies while in some cases difficult to distinguish from simple food intolerance are real and impact millions of people. Eggs, peanuts along with other foods frequently produce diarrhea or queasiness in folks hypersensitive to them.
Spider bites, even some from non-venomous spiders, can result in discomfort and inflammation over and above the norm. Bee and wasp stings can be serious problems for folks allergic to the venom. Anaphylactic shock is certainly no fairy tale.
Even less severe allergies symptoms, are very well known to folks that are afflicted with contact dermatitis and other skin allergies. Hives, eczema as well as other unpleasant disorders are well known to far too many.
For all these and many more, there is symptom relief and for some potentially a long-term elimination of the potential health risks.
Minimizing contact with things that trigger allergies is a good strategy for allergy prevention. A good way to achieve that goal is to boost cleaning efforts throughout the home. Another is to minimize airborne contaminants by using a home air purifier. Both approaches do help and are effective and safe.
However, when that is not sufficient, medications may also help.
Over the counter antihistamines like Benadryl and Claritin are very well regarded and used safely by millions of folks every day. Topical hydrocortisone cream such as Cortaid does offer relief to users. Prescription strength versions of these allergies treatments can be purchased as well. Prednisone helps many live more comfortably.
Longer-term remedies are growing, as well. Allergy immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, has been widely used with positive results. Doctors can inject allergy sufferers with an extract or genetically altered version of the allergen. Over time, the body’s immune system is ‘re-trained’ to better identify friend from foe and respond accordingly to substances, which are typically innocuous to millions of people.
Much longer term, improvements in the knowledge of allergies may very well lead to the development of genetic therapy to eliminate even the chance of a reaction. Developments in genetic research are starting to make the amazing appear ordinary.
The time will no doubt come when we might be in a position to look on allergies as being an issue of the past, much like polio. Meanwhile, a little sympathy along with the proper treatments can keep this unfortunate hereditary oddity down to less than nuisance level so that we are able to get on with our everyday life.