How to fight allergies

In Spain there are over 10 million allergy sufferers and the number continues to rise. Hypotheses about the reasons for this increase are many. They develop fewer infections than a few years ago and immunological memory seems to forget that there are substances that are not dangerous. Furthermore, pollution contributes to enhance some allergens and increasingly the human body is surrounded by new chemicals considered as enemies. Medications to relieve symptoms of allergy are antihistamines, corticosteroids and bronchodilators. The allergy is not curable, but there is a treatment that can induce tolerance to the allergen: immunotherapy, vaccines given over a period of three to five years. The most appropriate remedy is to know what type of allergy suffers, and prevention. For this reason, is suspected allergy, it is always advisable to consult a specialist.

By JOSÉ ANDRÉS RODRÍGUEZ

An allergy develops when the immune system recognizes certain substances (allergens) as dangerous, although they are not, and experience different symptoms depending on the type of allergen: itchy eyes and nasal congestion, hay fever, problems digestive allergy to food or allergy skin reactions to drugs. Each of these conditions requires a particular treatment, so it is essential to know the source of allergy.

Pollen Allergy

Nearly eight million Spanish people are allergic to some type of pollen, such as grasses, olives or banana shade. Spring is predicted difficult, always conditioned by the weather, for the 4.5 million allergic to grass pollen, according to the Aerobiology Committee of the Spanish Society of Allergology and Immunology (SEAIC). Experts predict concentrations of grass pollen accumulated more than 5,100 grains per cubic meter of air. Nearly double last year.

The “season” will begin in April and is believed to the end of June pollen levels will be more tolerable. Only a rainy spring or unusual heat would help decrease them. Those allergic to pollen so-called “dry zone” of the Peninsula (Madrid, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia center) should exercise caution. The cities will be a “trap” for people with allergies, because the high concentration of ozone and the urban pollen is 20% more aggressive than that of rural areas. Therefore, treatment is started 15 days before the start of spring.

Fleeing the allergen

The first step in treating hay fever is detected, and it is easy to confuse with cold. Allergy can take several weeks or months while the cold only lasts seven days or less and the fever is more common than in the case of allergy. Another symptom of this sensitivity is the worsening of discomfort when going outside when it comes into contact with the pollen in suspension.

The main advice is to avoid going out, going to parks or gardens remain close, as far as possible and, above all, days of high pollen counts or wind. For more information, consult the web SEAIC.

During the early morning hours (between five and ten) and late afternoon (after seven), the pollen concentration is higher. However, at night, it is not advisable to sleep with the windows open and must be circular drive with the windows closed, drying clothes indoors to avoid pollen permeate and avoid snuff smoke, strong perfumes, insecticides or , among others. It is advisable to use air conditioning, as most of the devices incorporate filters that leave out the pollen.

Food reaction

Food allergy is an abnormal reaction to food and affects more than 7% of population. Symptoms occur immediately after eating the food. The most common are skin reactions (dermatitis and skin and mucosal edema), gastrointestinal (abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea) and, less commonly, swelling of tongue or lip. In adults, nuts (especially peanuts), fruit, fish and shellfish are responsible for many of these allergies. No drug or vaccine, so you have to see a doctor to identify the guilty and exclude food from the diet.


Dust mites

The mites living in the dirt cause this type of allergy, whose most common symptoms are respiratory problems and itchy eyes, and nose. It is one of the most common. Its favorite habitats are mattresses, pillows, carpets, rugs, sofas, stuffed toys, etc.. So it is preferable that mattresses and pillows are foam latex or acrylic. These microscopic spiders need a temperature of 25 º C and humidity optimum between 70% and 80% for reproduction.

Therefore, one of the measures to address them is to maintain a temperature below 22 º C and humidity below 45%. Wash clothing more than 55 º C also eliminated. It is necessary to clean the house frequently with a vacuum cleaner and a damp, protected by a mask, is best done in the morning and with the windows open, so the current is carried mites. The rest of the day, in the same way as with the pollen, the windows should be closed and, in summer, air conditioning with air filter is a good choice.
Animals and stings

Cats are “guilty” of these most common allergic reactions, breathing in your skin products, hair, urine or saliva. Symptoms include itchy eyes, nasal congestion and breathing problems. The best advice is to avoid contact with the animal but sometimes, enough habitat and thoroughly clean the house, and prevent it from entering the bedroom or living room. Other animals are also associated with allergies are dogs, horses, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits.

One less common is the reaction to insect bites, Which affects 1% of the population. However, its symptoms can take seriously. They are the bites from bees, wasps, ants, spiders, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and bedbugs the biggest culprits of these reactions. Bees and wasps are responsible for more severe symptoms such as loss of consciousness and severe breathing difficulties. According to a study by the SEAIC die each year in Spain from 10 to 20 people due to their venom allergy, and half of the reactions require emergency care. The aim is to avoid mosquito bites. To this end, the outputs of the nature must be covered with clothing arms, legs and neck and avoiding open-toed shoes. And if an insect is seated in the body, do not try to frighten him.
CHILDREN AND ALLERGIES

Children may suffer any type of allergy but the most common are respiratory (caused by pollen and dust) and the food. Also, the asthma allergic disease is more prevalent in children. The Excessive hygiene in infants and children is, according to many experts, one of the main causes of the increase in childhood allergies. Many pediatricians advise against using soap (or opt for neutrals) more than two or three times a week to bathe babies, and breastfeeding until at least six months because it strengthens the immune system. On the other hand, children whose parents have allergies are more likely to be. If both parents are allergic, the percentage reaches 80%, if only one, 60%.

Exposure to high levels of pollen during childhood multiplied by three the risk of asthma. There are studies indicating that infants who are in contact with excessive dust or animals are more likely to develop allergies. Never medicate your child without medical prescription, as it may develop hypersensitivity to the drug.

The food allergies most common are milk, egg and fish in children below 2 years, the egg, in children between 3 and 5 years, and legumes, cereals and nutsIn children over 6 years. A strategy for prevention is to delay (always under medical supervision) the introduction in the diet of potentially allergenic foods for the immune system has time to be further strengthened.
ALSO TO MEDICINES

Allergies to drugs affecting about 5% of the population. Although any drug can be allergenic, the most common are antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and analgesics. The most common symptoms are skin reactions, difficulty breathing and swelling of lips. Faced with suspicion, we must not take more doses of the substance in question and consult a physician.

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