Allergy is one of the top ten most urgent medical problems of mankind according to WHO estimates. Since the middle of the last century, scientists have noted a steady increase in the number of allergic diseases, an increase in the variety of symptoms and an expansion of the list of potentially allergenic substances.
Allergy is a pathological process caused by an excessive response of the immune system to the penetration of external chemical agents (allergens) into the body.
Allergic diseases in their indications are extremely diverse, which is explained by many factors from the characteristics of allergens to the individual nuances of the physiological reactions. On this basis, allergy types are classified in several ways.
First and foremost, physicians consider allergy types based on the rate of allergic reaction. In particular, allergic reactions of immediate type are singled out. It includes anaphylactic, cytotoxic and immunocomplex reactions and delayed-type reactions like late hypersensitivity and stimulating hypersensitivity reactions.
Also, allergy types are classified based on the prevalence of the immune response, thus highlighting local and general allergic reactions.
There is also a classification of allergies, based on the type of allergen.
The most common allergens are:
- pollen of flowering plants (causes pollinosis). As sources of allergies, there may be herbs, bushes, and trees;
- products of vital activity and spores of microscopic fungi;
- medicines – the reaction to them is unpredictable and unique. Most patients have a hypersensitivity to antibiotics and local anesthetics;
- food products of both animal and vegetable origin. In the risk group – bee honey, citrus fruits, dairy products, redfish and caviar, chocolate, strawberries, red wine and many other products;
- secret salivary glands of stinging and blood-sucking insects – bees, wasps, mosquitoes;
- toxins of spiders, jellyfishes, fish, snakes;
- juice of some plants;
- hair, skin particles and saliva of pets (it is assumed that the allergy does not arise on the fur of dogs and cats, but on the substances that are released when the wool contacts saliva when the animals lick themselves or each other);
- isolation of synanthropic insects (ixodid mites, cockroaches);
- particles of a microscopic dust mite;
- products of vital activity and lysis (decomposition) of internal parasites – helminths, fungal colonies, protozoa;
- foreign proteins (in blood plasma, vaccines, semen, etc.).
It is also possible to divide the types of allergy based on the particular organ in which the pathological immune reaction proceeds. In particular, they distinguish:
- allergic conjunctivitis – an immune reaction that occurs in the eye mucosa and is accompanied by itching, burning, red eyes, abundant lacrimation;
- allergic rhinitis – an allergy “based” on the nasal mucosa, which is manifested by abundant watery discharge, sneezing, itching, and burning;
- allergic bronchial asthma – a reaction that engulfed the bronchial mucosa, leading to its edema, bronchospasm and respiratory failure;
- allergic dermatitis – a local skin reaction, accompanied by rashes, itching, burning, and sometimes allergic urticaria, specific skin rashes, visually similar to the nettle burn.
It should be remembered that the allergic reaction, the degree of its expression are extremely individual. The same allergen in different people can provoke different types of allergies. For example, for someone contact with the pollen of plants will end with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and someone will produce a severe asthma attack. Also, in a domestic environment, it is difficult to determine the true cause of an allergic reaction, to detect an allergen. In fact, limiting contact with it is the key to successful prevention of new exacerbations of the disease. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor who will conduct individual tests, identify the allergen and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
The allergic reaction can be generalized and concentrated in certain parts of the body, organs, and tissues. Local symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Intensive multiple sneezing, itching in the nasal passages, allergic rhinitis. At rhinitis allocation always liquid, transparent, without an admixture of purulent contents.
- Redness and pain in the eyes, a feeling of heaviness, lacrimation, photophobia, double vision, blurred vision, headache.
- Spasm of smooth muscles of bronchi, painful dry cough, shortness of breath, wheezing during breathing, attack of bronchial asthma.
- Hearing loss.
- Various skin rashes, contact dermatitis, hives, eczema. If it is a food allergy, then most skin manifestations are found on the elbows, abdomen, in the groin. With malnutrition, the allergy on the face is often manifested.
- Aphthous allergic stomatitis.
Prerequisite for effective treatment of allergies is the definition of a list of chemicals that prevent a person from fully living and working. The second mandatory condition is the complete elimination or at least minimization of contacts with agents to which the patient is sensitive.
How to get rid of allergies to cat hair? It will only take place if there are no furry favorites in the house. No pills and sprays will help here. It is a harrowing moment for owners of pets who have sensitive children.
With hay fever and other pollen, it is important to ensure regular airing or air conditioning of living quarters, limit stay on the street at the time of flowering, check for allergenic flora. To eliminate allergy to household dust, it is necessary to regularly wet cleaning, vacuuming upholstered furniture, monitor the humidity in the apartment, install special air purifiers with carbon filters.
Drug treatment for allergy is only reduced to the relief of acute allergic reactions with antihistamines. Drugs of the latest generation effectively remove swelling, itching, hives, bronchospasm, and at the same time have a minimal sedative effect, without affecting the ability to work, to control machines and mechanisms. Typically, patients with severe allergies always carry a pill or syringe with a quick-acting antihistamine.