Why, with the beginning of the flowering of trees and herbs, do many people develop allergies?
Ksenia Ryabova: Imagine that there is a scanner at the entrance to our body, which decides how to react to what it finds, has a very serious responsibility – to recognize someone who is capable of causing harm to the body and notify him in time. And for some reason pollen gets into the “black list”, and our body reacts as the most dangerous element.
The “entrance doors” are our mucous membranes, as well as the skin. Accordingly, the first thing our body does is try not to let the danger go further and develop swelling so that the allergen does not enter the bloodstream, increased production of mucus and tears to remove the allergen from the surface, itching , to mechanically remove “combing” the allergen from the surface. So there are symptoms of rhinitis, conjunctivitis, bronchial asthma, and sometimes even dermatitis. But since the reaction is pathological, the effect is just the opposite: the mucosa is further damaged and the effect of the allergen is enhanced. It is not surprising that for some the long-awaited period of heat and sun turns into a personal hell.
Why is it important to fight hay fever? After all, the blooming season for allergenic plants doesn’t last that long, does it?
Ksenia Ryabova: Firstly, a person can react to various allergens, and, for example, timothy and ragweed bloom, respectively, in the first and second half of summer – the hay fever season drags on. Second, and this is very important, some people who suffer from hay fever will also develop a cross-food allergy. This is due to the molecular similarity of allergens: due to the reaction to flowering, a food allergy to related products can occur. For example, with an allergy to tree pollen – a cross-food allergy to apples, stone fruits and carrots. Sometimes it worries only during the flowering of the allergen, sometimes throughout the year.
Can allergies be protected?
Ksenia Ryabova: You need to solve this problem together with an allergist-immunologist. After a simple examination, the allergen will be found. Now we have two ways: symptomatic and etiotropic treatment. Symptomatic treatment is a treatment that alleviates the symptoms, allowing you to lead a normal life at the time of flowering. These are the usual antihistamines.
But this is not the only tool for an allergist-immunologist, modern therapy allows you to almost completely stop the exacerbation and maintain a normal state throughout the flowering period.
However, this does not solve the problem of the reaction to the allergen. There is etiotropic therapy, that is, therapy directed at the root cause of the disease. In the case of hay fever, this is ASIT – allergen-specific immune therapy, allows you to develop tolerance, that is, immunity to the allergen. Unlike symptomatic therapy, this treatment is carried out outside the flowering season and requires a considerable duration, but it is this that gives wonderful results.
Also, do not forget that the first rule in the treatment of allergies is the elimination (exclusion) of the allergen. These are household features intended to reduce the amount of pollen entering your home, for example, special anti-pollen nets, air filtration and humidification. Some leave for the flowering season in regions where it has already ended, or these plants are absent.
But it is important to remember that these symptoms should not be tolerated, the allergist-immunologist has enough effective and safe means to solve this problem.