What is an allergy?

Category: Good to know
Date : October 14, 2005
Tags: allergy

An allergy or hypersensitivity is defined as the body’s abnormal response to some external or contained in body factor (a substance).

The human body tries in contact with a variety of external factors to adapt and at the same time to maintain the internal unity of the environment of the organism. For that purpose in the organism are operating complex defense reactions involving the skin and mucous membranes, cells of many organs and tissues, blood, and nerve system. These reactions in the body to develop defense bodies – antibodies that provide resistance to harmful factors. Some people have an affected natural response mechanisms of the body and their defense reaction run otherwise, which develops hypersensitivity. In case of hypersensitivity the body unusually intensely reacts to the effects of certain factors (substances), when in contact with them several times. This phenomenon is known as hypersensitivity or allergic reaction. Factors (substance) that causes an allergic reaction are known as allergen.

Once in the organism allergens cause a variety of symptoms that appear either very fast or after a longer interval. A peculiar feature is that a very small amount of allergen can trigger a strong reaction. Allergies may damage respiratory system, skin, mucous membranes, blood vessels, heart, joints, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and nervous system. Thus, allergic diseases have a wide range of symptoms.

Can allergies be prevented?

Preventing allergies of children require more targeted care from mothers already during pregnancy. They should avoid from any health hazardous work, smoking, exposure to chemical (particularly toxic) substances, and not lightly use the medication. Avoided or limited should be allergenic foods, such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruits, strawberries, nuts, sweets.
At home, you should have easy to clean furniture, few objects, which collect dust (rugs, loose bookshelves etc.). There should be no smoking in the house where pregnant women or infants are.

It is important for prophylactic of children allergies to breast-feed as long as possible (at least 6 months). Early feeding of the toddlers with artificial food is often accompanied by food allergies, and on that basis other allergic diseases develop more easily. Breast-feeding mothers cannot afford allergenic foods, as they may affect the baby through breast milk.
Children with an allergic predisposition should also be removed from allergenic foods, toys and room furnishings should be not dust-collecting. Smoking in living rooms should be avoided as well as animals, birds, fish tanks and flowers.

Laundry must be washed with soap and rinse thoroughly. The mattress and pillow should be either cotton or foam rubber. Rooms have to be often aired and vacuumed every day as well as cleaned with a wet cloth.

While choosing a profession one must consider the risk factors that the occupation has (dusts, gases, chemicals, animals).

Effect of therapeutic exercise is generally strengthening for the body.

An allergy is a feature of the development of antibodies, but it’s a mistake of protecting, distorted protection. Allergies can be caused by allergens known to us, which are medicines, foods, pollen, mites, mold. But it can also be related to infection sources of our body.

Allergies can also be hidden or in inactive state, and never occur. An allergy occurs when the body is unbalanced. Illness resulting from an allergy can be treated, but allergy as such cannot be treated. However, much can be done with a reasonable behavior, proper food and above all future mothers have to keep in mind proper nutrition.

Who have statistically more allergies?

Earlier in Estonia about 8% of people had allergies. At present day it can be said that in the larger cities of Estonia 15-18% of the population has allergies. But in the world, about 40% of newborn babies have allergies. At developing countries people’s immune system is struggling with severe contagious diseases and is developing antibodies against them, so there are fewer cases of allergies in less developed countries. If a person is overly protected and maintained, there is a higher probability of allergic reactions.

Now, it is determined that when the child is in contact with infection under six months of age, the immune system starts to work correctly, and the possibility of allergy later in life is halved.
Most allergies occur in young children and it is primarily associated with food. The next largest occurrence time of allergy symptoms is during puberty. Allergies can appear again in relation with a disease in old age. If you look at people by gender, first and foremost allergy is a disease of boys and young men.

The usual clinical picture is sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and itching. Sometimes, in addition skin diseases, the so-called allergic dermatitis, urticaria. The most frequent complication is shortness of breath, bronchial asthma, which may start with spasmodic cough. People feel better after the rain and during the rain, but after all the rain will force the plants to bloom, and it becomes even more intense after.

What should allergic people keep in mind in order not to provoke allergic disease?

Overall they should look critically at their table. For example, people who do not tolerate birch pollen should refrain from carrots, apples and nuts. One must be careful with drinking herbal teas and certainly should not overdo with consumption of honey. People with pollen allergy should cover their windows with special protective material.

Allergostop or with garden veil. It is recommended to change clothes and wash your hair after coming home. Moist cleaning should be a daily routine. It is also not advisable to dry the bedding outside. Careful also while bringing home plants and tree branches.

Surely not everyone should be taking Echinacea preparations, because this plant is among the composites, and people with an allergy to wormwood should not use the red Echinacea.

A lot of non-prescription medicines are available in pharmacies. And of course, one should seek medical advice. Allergic people have to change their lifestyle and take their allergies into consideration.

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