Allergy more aggressive than ever

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We are in a century under the imprint of pollution, stress, struggle with time, hygiene and self-centered obsession led to the upper limits of materialism. All of these actually tearing human being in every way, so that the biological organism is also affected so much that is emerging increasingly more new diseases considered negligible dominance so far: allergies, cancer, depression and anxiety, information stress and autoimmune diseases.

As for allergies, modern man is more isolated than ever and caught in nets of modern society (work, TV, games, virtual socializing). This insulating body repeatedly exposed to allergens in buildings (dust, mold, animal dander).

Exaggerated hygiene, body aggression with chemicals and chemically treated foods, is an important part of developing allergic disease triggers. Due to exaggerated hygiene the immune system is directly engaged in fighting germs and becomes more sensitive to ordinary substances that come into contact, and eventually allergies. Transcendental philosophy specialists say the same behavior towards excessive body care possessed the Egyptians in the ancient. They argue that there are both historical and spiritual cycles of mankind, and this narcissistic behavior is fully justified.


1. Overview
2. The incidence of allergic diseases
3. What is allergy?
4. Types of allergies and symptoms
5. Allergy diagnosis
6. Treatment of respiratory allergies

The incidence of allergic diseases

Allergic diseases become more common every year, being currently estimated that about 20% of world population and 25% of the European population suffers from allergies, people of all ages but especially children, adolescents and young adults. It is a “modern” disease considered the 21st century’s disease. It is estimated that keeping this rate, in future one in two people will have an allergic condition.

What is allergy?

Due to some unknown reasons, the immune system produces in high volume some antibodies (immunoglobulin E) compared to certain substances called allergens, substances tolerated by most people. It is an immune response directed in the wrong direction.

There is a genetic risk, where the estimated risk of a child to be allergic exceeds 50% and becomes even greater if both parents are allergic. Allergic diseases can affect the skin and mucous (rash, angioedema), at digestive (food allergies, diarrhea, flatulence), in the eyes (allergic conjunctivitis), respiratory tract (rhinitis, asthma allergic asthma) or even the entire body (systemic reaction – anaphylactic shock).

Types of allergies and symptoms

Respiratory allergies are the most common allergy called rhinitis, rhino-sinusitis, allergic asthma. The main complaints of patients with respiratory allergy are:

- In case of allergic rhinitis: sneezing, itchy nose (nasal itching), watery runny nose (rhinorrhea aqueous), stuffy nose (nasal obstruction bilateral alternation);
- In case of allergic asthma: itchy palate (palatal itching) and ear (ear pruritus), fatigue (tiredness), headache (headache), lack of appetite (anorexia), decreased or lack of smell (hyposmia or anosmia ), coughing, wheezing (wheezing), shortness of breath (dyspnea) or constriction of the chest.

Respiratory allergies can occur seasonally or daily (perennial) depending on the presence and causative allergen that may appear in different forms of severity. The most common respiratory allergens are dust mites, molds, pollens, animal epithelia and pet’s brushes (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.).

Food allergy occurs rapidly after ingestion of food allergens and is manifested by oropharyngeal pruritus, pruritic rash, facial swelling, lingual or glottis (the latter can cause suffocation and death from acute respiratory failure), nausea, vomiting , diarrhea, and sometimes violent reactions of the entire body associated with loss of blood pressure (anaphylactic shock). Major food allergens are cow’s milk protein, white eggs and egg yolk, peanuts, soy, fish, celery, carrots, wheat, tomatoes, kiwi, banana, coffee, cocoa, peaches, apricots etc. Virtually any food protein can be allergenic. Food allergy is more frequent in children but is quite common in adulthood too.

Besides those two categories there are other types of allergies: allergy to insect venom, drug allergies, allergy to animals, etc. There are many other less common allergens and more unknown, especially as some implications with professional allergens such as: bakery and confectionery products, food additives, cosmetics, dental products, perfumes, hair products, isocyanates, metals (nickel, cobalt, aluminum), methacrylate adhesives, various plants, wood, additives of rubber, latex, photoallergen, chemicals used in shoe industry, colors used in textile industry etc. These allergens can cause different reactions in the body: skin contact, eczema, respiratory, rhinitis and asthma.

Allergy diagnosis

Allergy diagnosis and identify the allergen that causes the allergic reaction is sometimes difficult, requiring identification of these specific IgE by various methods. It can be skin allergy tests (prick technique) or by harvesting the blood and laboratory techniques.

Prick skin test is the most widely used; it uses standardized allergen solutions for testing, is cheaper and faster (results are obtained in 15-20 minutes) and is better correlated with true allergic sensitization for relevant patient symptoms. This technique is non-aggressive, painless if is made correctly, in correlation with the patient’s allergic history and current disease stage.

For proper interpretation of the testing, is required discontinuation of any anti-allergy treatment at least 3 days before performing it and the absence of any injuries or skin conditions on the test site. It can be made at any age, including young children, minimum age of working children being driven to the application and testing support drops for 15 minutes without being removed.

Blood allergy testing is indicated for patients who can’t meet the conditions of a fair skin testing, are invasive investigations (involving venous blood sampling), are more expensive, the results obtained from the laboratory within a few days. There are various laboratory techniques to identify individual antibodies or allergy to a single allergen or for a group of allergens (eg allergen analysis called Panel 20). Blood tests aren’t superior as sensitivity and specificity of skin tests, often requiring a correct interpretation of their relevance depending on the patient’s symptoms.

Warning: Measurement of IgE total serum is very valuable for diagnosis of allergy, it is only indicative, because there are many allergic patients with totally normal IgE.

For patients with respiratory allergy is often necessary to conduct investigations of lung function, the most common being spirometry.

Spirometry measures (using a device called a spirometer) the volumes of air and air flow that a person’s lung mobilizes at a time. It is a noninvasive method, easy, inexpensive, reproducible. Through this investigation is emphasized especially airway obstruction, its severity and reversibility to bronchodilator treatment. It’s good to perform it repeatedly (various times of the day) or depending on the patient’s symptoms to his accusations objective or for monitoring treatment response. It is essential for the diagnosis and staging of asthma severity.

Warning: You should know that all patients with allergic rhinitis and rhino-sinusitis should perform spirometry because the disease is frequently associated with asthma.

Keep in mind that any clinical, functional or biological investigation of allergies will be determined only after a special consultation, in which the doctor will detailing the whole thoroughly and allergic patient’s medical history so that investigations are properly chosen and relevant to a correct diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment of respiratory allergies

As the first treatment, avoiding allergens, is an essential step in treatment of allergic disease.

Drug treatment of allergic rhinitis address to symptoms control: sneezing, nasal itching (pruritis), runny nose and watery runny nose (nasal obstruction). Intranasal applied corticosteroids (topical) are the most effective medication, they improve symptoms and reduce inflammation.

Asthma therapy includes two treatment arms: control medication (“controller”) is given daily, long-term symptom control and medication aims crisis (“reliever”) represented by short-acting bronchodilators which works quickly, is used when symptoms of asthma.

In allergic rhinitis or asthma’s case, presenting sensitization to an allergen, specific immunotherapy (SIT) with allergenic vaccines is the only therapeutic method that manages to induce desensitization to the sensitization allergen. SIT management can be done under the skin – like vaccines (subcutaneous) or sublingual. The average duration of treatment is 3-5 years.



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