An allergy is the response of the immune system to an irritating substance. These allergens could come from food, insects, pollen grains, drugs, and medications. When our body comes across any allergen, our immune system becomes active and creates specific antibodies called immunoglobulin to fight with the allergen. Immunoglobulins are present in our nose, throat, eyes, and lungs. These antibodies activate the mast cells in our body which cause the release of certain chemical substances in these zones called histamines. The release of histamine causes symptoms of an allergic reaction such as swelling in the nasal passage, runny nose, itching in the throat, burning eyes, and other such symptoms. Every person is different and so are their allergies. No two people are bound to have the same reaction to an allergen. A person can be allergic to one thing but might be completely non-responsive to the other. Though allergies are different in different people, there are be best allergy treatments people can use to cure all types of allergies.
The allergies can also depend upon the amount of exposure. A limited amount of exposure might not harm an individual but if it crosses the threshold, it can cause the allergy to flare up. These reactions basically depend on upon our genetic disposition. If the parents have some kind of an allergy, the child having the susceptibility of having the same allergy might increase manifold. The most common causes of an allergy are mentioned below.
Allergy from food – Food items like fish, nuts, and dairy products can cause allergic reactions in different individuals. These allergies could manifest itself in skin allergies or nasal allergic symptoms.
Airborne allergies – Airborne allergies are the allergies which are spread through the air. The main causes of these allergies are pollen, that is shed by the trees during the springtime. This pollen irritates the nasal passage and can cause severe spring allergies.
Other causes are animal dander and dust mites. The irritants or allergens from animals also travel and enter the nasal passage triggering an allergic reaction in some people.
Allergies due to insects – Insects are also a big cause of some allergies. Most of the insects like bee or wasp contain certain chemicals in their stings which they insert into the human body while they bite. These chemicals react with the ones present in the body and it causes skin allergies.
Allergies due to medicines or drugs – Certain medications also trigger the production of histamine in our body causing a chain allergic reaction. The most common allergen is penicillin or penicillin-based medicinal drugs.
Skin allergies due to certain fabrics – Certain fabrics like spandex, latex or even elastic cause skin allergies which can alleviate up to dermatitis. These fabrics block the breathability of the skin causing it to be irritated or develop rashes.
While some allergic symptoms fade away or become less serious as you grow up because the immune system becomes weak with age, some like bee stings and allergy due to latex become worse as the number of times the body is exposed to them increases.
Best allergy treatments
The best allergy treatments depend upon the cause of it. If the allergy is caused due to food items, it is best to avoid them. If your allergy is flared up due to any fabric or any other such material, try staying away from it. Apart from these preventive measures, some people need to take the help of medications to avoid serious complications due to allergies. Some of the best allergy treatment courses are:
Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT)
Allergy shots are also referred to as subcutaneous immunotherapy. It is a long procedure for treating allergic symptoms which work by making changes to the immune system of the body. The allergy shots inserted into the body contain the allergens in a small quantity in a weakened form. Multiple rounds of these allergy shots are required to help the body become used to these allergens. The frequency of these shots is decreased over time. In the beginning 7 months, they are given once a week. Further, they are reduced to once in two weeks and then to once a month. The treatment requires three to five years to be completed.
Antihistamines are the medicines which block the formation of histamine in the body when it comes in contact with the allergen. Antihistamines are some of the best allergy treatments and are mostly available in the form of pills, eye drops, and nasal sprays. Antihistamines are target medicines that work on the irritated zone like eyes, nose, and lungs.
Leukotriene blockers or Antileukotrienes
Leukotrienes are chemicals produced by the immune system. They promote inflammation, mucus secretion, and inflammation by activating the mast cells. Anti-leukotrienes or leukotriene blockers stop the production of leukotrienes to minimise the effects of leukotrienes.
Another best allergy treatments can include Cromolyn. It contains Cromoglicic acid which is known to be a mast cell stabilizer. This medication is anti-inflammatory and it works by blocking the production of substances that cause inflammation in the body. Cromolyn sodium is inhaled through the nose to prevent inflammation of the nasal passage.
Corticosteroids or cortisone-like hormones are responsible for reducing inflammation, swelling, itchiness, and soreness in the body. These hormones are produced naturally by the body to maintain good health. If the Adrenal gland does not produce an adequate amount of these hormones, the doctor prescribes corticosteroids to bridge the gap. Corticosteroid medicines like Nasacort and Flonase are prescribed to treat the symptoms of allergies such as skin rashes and swelling, inflammation of the nasal passage and lungs. These medicines are available in syrup, tablet or capsule form.
Diphenhydramine is a first-generation antihistamine which is generally prescribed to treat the symptoms of severe allergies. It is also prescribed to treat the symptoms of common cold and nausea caused due to spring allergies. Diphenhydramine blocks the effects of histamine produced by the body. In the market, it is available under the brand name Benadryl, Dimedrol, Daedalon, or Nytol. This drug is also available as a generic medication. These medicines, however, should not be taken for a very long period of time due to their side effects. The side effects of these drugs include drowsiness and sleepiness, confusion and urinary retention.