Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander. Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. Some of these antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause an infection. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify your particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn't. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system's reaction inflames your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.
Allergy symptoms depend on your particular allergy, and can involve the airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction in your body known as anaphylaxis.
An allergy starts when the immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that are always on the alert for your particular allergen. When you're exposed to the allergen again in the future, these antibodies release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.
Allergy treatments include:
- Allergen avoidance.
- Medications to reduce symptoms.
- Emergency epinephrine.
Some allergy symptoms improve with home treatment.
Sinus congestion and hay fever symptoms often improve with nasal lavage — rinsing out the sinuses with a saline solution.
Household airborne allergy symptoms, such as those caused by dust mites or pet dander, may improve by taking steps to reduce your exposure to allergens. Steps include frequently washing bedding and stuffed toys in hot water, maintaining low humidity, regularly using a vacuum with a fine filter such as a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, and replacing carpeting with hard flooring.
Mold allergy symptoms may be alleviated by avoiding outdoor work in damp weather, wearing a dust mask while working outdoors, and keeping your windows closed at night.
For more information call Garvan at Lynch’s Pharmacy on 021-4366923.