Saturday, February 03, 2007

Respiratory Allergy

An allergy is a reaction in the body to a normally harmless substance. Usually the immune system functions as the body's defense against invading bacteria and viruses. In most allergic reactions, the immune system is responding to a false alarm. When a person inhales an allergen - a substance that causes allergies, their immune systems release chemical substances that inflame the linings of the noses, sinus, eyelids, lungs and eyes. This causes itching, sneezing, runny nose watery eyes, coughing and wheezing.

Researchers suggest that you can inherit respiratory allergy from your parents if they have also respiratory allergies. Substances that causes the most respiratory allergic reactions include pollen, mold, dust mites and pets.

Here are some medications to help you fight respiratory allergies:

  • Antihistamines - Can be used to counter the effects of histamine, which is the chemical released by the body that causes allergy symptoms. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness; however, some of the newer medications available by prescription do not. One of these newer medications, loratide, is now available without prescription.
  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays - Are very effective against allergy symptoms. It can take 10 days to get maximum relief.
  • Decongestants - Can relieve conditions caused by nasal allergies. They are available as oral medications and as nose drops and sprays, but drops and sprays should be used for a few days. When used for longer periods, they can make symptoms worse.
  • Immunotherapy - This can be used to reduce allergy symptoms over a longer period. Allergy shots contain a small amount of the substance that you are allergic to and you will be desensitized over a period of time.



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