Allergies are affecting a growing number of the population and more than 60 percent of the population suffers from one or the other form of allergy. People are allergic each and every other substances in nature; cloth fiber, pollen grains, dust, insect venom, jewelry, milk, egg and many more. Allergy may develop at any age; it can start in the infant stage or during adulthood. Sometimes, symptoms of allergic reaction are observed in people after a number of exposures to the allergen. A person who did not have any allergic reaction to a particular food protein might get it later in life.
An allergic reaction tends to be found in people with family history, but it is not necessary that a person gets the same allergic condition and the same symptoms as shown by their parent or parents. If one parent is susceptible to an allergy, the chance of the child getting it is 30 percent and if both parents suffer from one or more allergies, the chance increases to 60 percent. This shows that there is some association between genetic makeup and allergy. But it is not only the genes which determine the chance of getting allergy, environmental factors like pollution, smoking, infections and hormone also can trigger the allergic responses.
There has been a great improvement in the treatment of allergic reactions, the common allergic treatments includes medication, avoidance, immunotherapy and natural allergy treatment.
The first step in conquering allergy is the identification of the chemical or substance responsible for the allergic reaction. In olden days, when not much medication was available, management of allergy included its avoidance or reduces in contact with the allergen. Avoiding the food products and metals that causes allergy is indeed easy and effective, but airborne allergens cannot be fully avoided as both indoor and outdoor air that we breathe in houses millions of dust particles, pollen, animal hair, and cloth fiber all of which can pose as a potent allergen to many people. The contact with these antigens can e observed by keeping the house clean, dust free and dry. Reducing the use of curtains, carpets and cushions can reduce dust allergy to a great extend. During pollination season, it is better to keep the doors and windows closed if anyone in the family suffers from pollen allergy.
Several antagonistic drugs like anti histamine, epinephrine, cortisone, hydrocortisone, Cromolyn sodium and theophytin are used in the treatment of allergy. These drugs block the action of allergic mediators and prevent the activation and degranulation of allergic cells like mast cells. Decongestants, anti cholinergic and mast cell stabilizers are also used to treat allergic responses.
Anti histamine is the most common drug used to treat almost all sorts of allergy and is usually effective against runny nose, itchiness and sneezing. It blocks the action of the histamine, the protein responsible to trigger allergic response in the body. Anti histamine with short term effect are available even in super markets and can be got without prescription. Anti histamines are most affective if taken before contact with the potent allergen or before the onset of allergic response. Some anti histamine are found to produce drowsiness and dryness of mouth. So it is better to consult your doctor before taking it.
Decongestants may come as pills, nasal sprays and nasal drops and temporarily relieves from stuffy nose caused by allergy. It is recommended for use only during a short time as one can become dependent on it. Some decongestants are found to elevate the blood pressure so people with some disease conditions should take the advice of a doctor while using it.
Nasal steroid sprays are administered through spray to mute the effect of inflammatory response of nasal tissues to inhaled antigens. These helps to reduce the swelling in the nose, caused due to inflammations. Nasal steroid spray may take around a week to start showing its effect.
Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that helps to relieve body's reaction to allergens. It may take more than two weeks to show its effect and it gives better results if used as prevention before exposure to the allergen.
Immunotherapy or allergy shot have been used to treat a number of allergic reactions in the recent years. These treatments are designed so as to reduce the person's sensitivity to allergens. Desensitization is a treatment method where a person is injected with increasing doses of allergen extracts at a specific time interval. These have shown to reduce the severity of the allergic response and also help to build immunity to increasing amount of antigens. The allergy shots have to be given at intervals of two to four weeks for about five years to get tolerance to the allergen.
There is another approach of immunotherapy to treat several types of allergies. In this approach, the patient is injected with increasing concentrations of monoclonal anti Ig E antibody. These antibodies disrupt the immunoglobulin Ig E which are responsible for allergic reactions and hence subsides the allergy.
Allergy can be treated effectively by using natural products or by eating certain food. Including more onion, garlic and citrus fruits in the diet has shown to reduce histamine action and allergic response as these food contains natural anti histamine, quercetin. Drinking a lot of water and fruit juices are also a natural way to control allergies. Brown rice, cayenne pepper, turmeric and curry leaves are effective against many forms of allergy. Similarly, tulsi and neem leaves either eaten or applied as paste can relive many allergies. Food items rich in vitamin C and gamma linolenic acid can be used to treat allergies.
Gargling warm salt solution is found to be effective in treating throat allergies. Taking a bath in warm water containing dissolved salt is also helpful to treat skin rashes and itching. Rinsing the nostril using saline with the help of netipot( a small pot like vessel used in meditation and yoga) can aid in controlling respiratory allergies and asthma. Yogic exercises are also found to increase the body's strength to overcome many skin and respiratory allergies by increasing the blood circulation, regulating heart beat and the controlling breathing rhythm.
It has been found that breast feeding infants can help to reduce the onset of allergies at later stages of their life. Bottle fed children are more prone to allergies than breast fed ones.
Homeopathy and ayurveda can be used to treat many allergies and with minimal side effects. Homeopathy approach works on the principle that each person is different and it treats the disease based on the symptoms manifested. Homeopathic treatment has shown to works wonder with asthma treatment, allergic retinitis and utricaria.
Ayurveda believes that allergies are caused due to imbalance in the digestive system and impurities in nature. The ayurvedic treatment of allergies includes proper balanced diet, and digestion. Cleansing therapies and herbal oil massages and herbal medicines are also prescribed for allergies.
Different allergen causes different allergic response to each individual and hence the treatment is based on the allergy rather than the allergen.
Food allergies are usually treated by observing dietary avoidance of the offending allergen. Anti histamine and bronchodilators are prescribed to relieve gastrointestinal symptoms, sneezing, runny nose and asthma. Adrenalin or epinephrine shots are prescribed for anaphylactic reactions caused by food.
Skin allergy can be effectively treated by the use of anti histamine creams and drugs. Benadryl skin allergy relief capsule can be taken to relieve from many allergic conditions associated with skin. It is also recommended to use mild detergent and deodorants by people with skin allergy. Hay fever is a cold like symptom caused by allergy to pollen. It is best to stay away from pollen and reduce the exposure to the allergen by remaining indoors during the hay fever season. Hay fever can be treated with anti histamine and steroid nasal sprays to reduce the symptoms like stuffy nose, sneezing and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, hay fever can be treated by immunotherapy. Acupuncture is a natural method which is also found to relieve hay fever.
There are a number of allergies and allergens around the world the treatment of this allergy also vary from places to places. Some allergies may be best treated by homeopathy when some can be treated by allopathic medicines; natural remedies may be effective for certain allergy whereas immunotherapy should be tried for some others. It is always better to know the best treatment for your allergy which shows good results with minimal side effects.