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How to counter allergic reaction during season change

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Practicing since : 1991
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how to counter the allergic affection in season change
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 49 minutes later

Thank you for your query.

1. There is no cure for allergy, however by avoiding antigenic challenge, you may reduce the reaction. This is difficult in non-specific allergy such as changes in light, temperature and humidity. However you may reduce the exposure rate of change in air temperature by covering your nose and face for some time to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Use face masks if necessary as pollen allergy is seasonal. You must search for exposure to specific antigens such as dust, dust mites, pollen in your house and work environment. Do you have any pets at home?

2. After an allergic response as started, histamine is only one of the cocktail of substances released when mast cells burst. These include cytokines, interleukins, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins, tumour necrosis factors, SRS-A (Slow reacting Substance of Anaphylaxis) into the surrounding tissue causing dilation and leakage of blood vessels leading to flushing, mucous secretion, nerve stimulation (tingling), and smooth muscle contraction (bronchospasm). This results in rhinorrhea, itchiness then dryness, burning, cough, breathlessness and many other responses. In chronic allergy, cell mediated immunity is also involved.

3. All these factors make it extremely difficult to explain all the effects, which may seem paradoxical to you at times. Once allergy has developed, only blocking histamine will not counteract all these inflammatory mediators. The only other drugs that we have at this point in time are anti-leukotrines and steroids. This explains why we cannot control all the effects of allergy after it develops. This is where avoidance of triggers, steroid nasal sprays and sodium cromoglycate (a mast cell stabilizer) are helpful.

4. You should start the above medications under medical supervision before the onset of any expected season change. It may not always be possible to anticipate a climate change (especially if it is sudden), however as per the above reasoning, the extent of the allergic reaction will be reduced.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Wish you good health.

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