Monday, April 25, 2022

Where does allergy come from. What is it and what are its types?


The level of air pollution in Pakistan is growing, and at the same time almost 40% of our society are allergy sufferers. In spring, during the allergic season, an additional problem is increased plant pollination. The air quality is influenced by a number of elements: smog, dust, plant aeroallergens, but also humidity, temperature and the presence of bacteria and viruses. All these factors are present in our environment all year round - both outdoors and indoors. 


What is an allergy?

We talk about allergies when our body reacts to generally harmless environmental factors, which it mistakenly perceives as a threat. Allergic reactions take many forms from mild discomfort to more serious symptoms. Allergy symptoms affect quality of life and can even lead to sudden death from anaphylactic shock. The problem increases when we are dealing with a situation of allergy to more than one allergen.

Allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis is the most common symptom of airborne allergy. It is related, inter alia, with paroxysmal sneezing, watery eyes , and coughing, which may be a symptom of developing asthma. The period of onset of symptoms, as well as their severity, depends on the time of natural exposure to allergens. In the case of allergy to pollen, the ailments are repeated seasonally.

Some people are exposed to allergens such as house dust mites, animal dander and fungal germ all year round. 

The indoor air constantly hovers microscopic harmful particles invisible to the human eye. Contaminants are, among others exhaust fumes, fine dust, fungal spores and plant pollen that can enter the home and then mix with internal contaminants such as dust, pet allergens, kitchen fumes, and chemical particles from household cleaners. Air pollution inside can therefore be up to five times stronger than outside. That is why it is so important to ensure good air quality at home, not only for allergy sufferers. 

Where can we find allergens?

Flower pollen - although it is usually airborne, most pollen and other allergens can be found in the home on the floor and under furniture. Pollen concentrations are highest in the spring and summer months.

Dead skin cells - Just like humans, cats, dogs and other pets shed dead skin / hair cells and then spread these microscopic particles around the house. When animals shake off, allergens are airborne and land on upholstery and carpets. 

Dust mite droppings - these microscopic particles contain proteins that can trigger asthma and allergic reactions. They are so small and light that they can easily travel through the air and be inhaled by us.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - Some household cleaners and air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds that can be released and then end up in our lungs.

Mold - Mold spores have a long life, so allergy sufferers can experience allergy symptoms all year round. However, the highest concentration usually occurs in the fall during wet, mild weather and during the harvest season.

House dust - consists of many different elements, such as human skin cells , mite faeces, pollen, fungi, fibers, bacteria, food particles,plant substances, insects and chemicals.


What are the types of allergies?

Inhalation allergy

We will notice this type of allergy in the spring. The most common airborne allergens are the pollen of flowering plants: grasses, grains or trees. Inhalation allergy can bother you all year round. Anything in the air can sensitize: fungal and mold spores, mites, dust particles, animal hair or insect faeces.

Food Allergies An

Allergy occurs when the body has an allergic reaction to a food ingredient. You can be allergic to many foods at the same time. It is worth knowing that they usually sensitize products that are eaten the most in a given country. The most popular allergens are: cow's milk protein, eggs, grains, veal, beef, fish, some vegetables (tomatoes, asparagus, celery) and fruit (strawberries, apples, cherries, pineapples, kiwi, peaches), chocolate, nuts, almonds, soybeans, honey.


Contact allergy

This type of allergy is called when it sensitizes things that you come into contact with. Most often it sensitizes chrome, nickel, formaldehyde, textile dyes, fragrance oils, aromas and parabens(preservatives) added to cosmetics and chemicals. Virtually all chemicals that come into contact with the skin can cause allergies. 


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