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Allergy relief

allergy relief

Sometimes the body misinterprets a harmless thing from the environment (eg, pollen) as danger and initiates inappropriately turbulent defensive reaction. Such hypersensitivity reaction is called allergy. The most common form of allergy is an allergy to pollen, which is also known as hay fever. It... read more

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Sometimes the body misinterprets a harmless thing from the environment (eg, pollen) as danger and initiates inappropriately turbulent defensive reaction. Such hypersensitivity reaction is called allergy.

The most common form of allergy is an allergy to pollen, which is also known as hay fever. It usually begins in March and can last until the end of October, and it is caused by the pollen of grasses, trees and weeds.

In the year-round allergic rhinitis symptoms do not occur seasonally, but at any time of the year, and sometimes they are really full-year, with the change in intensity. This form of the disease is caused by allergens with which we are in contact throughout the year. The most common causes of the year-long allergic rhinitis are dust mite allergens, house dust, less frequently allergens of the furry pets or mold. The allergens of cats and a dog should be pointed out, and more rarely those of hamsters and mice. In some patients, allergic rhinitis can be a year-round with seasonal deterioration. These people are sensitive to year-round and seasonal allergens.

How to recognize an allergy?

  • red, watery and irritated eyes
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • swelling of the nasal mucosa
  • itching and redness in the nose
  • irritating dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • urticaria (skin redness, contact dermatitis)

Signs of colds and hay fever are similar, so it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them. The cold causes general symptoms, such as fever, cough and epidemiological data. The allergic rhinitis thus causes recurrence of symptoms during a particular season or after contact with the outside factor. Allergy symptoms are usually long-lasting and they calm down only with the use of proper medication, while the symptoms of colds cease spontaneously.

Suppressing the symptoms with appropriate medication

In the control of allergic diseases of the respiratory system different groups of drugs are used:

  • Corticosteroids are the most effective anti-inflammatory drugs that will most successfully eliminate or reduce the symptoms of allergic diseases. There are forms for intranasal use, inhaled corticosteroids for the lower airways, tablets or the compositions for parenteral use – used in more severe forms of the disease. Since for successful control of the disease low doses are usually sufficient, such as a pump for intranasal administration and pump for administration of the drug to the lower airways, in these forms they are typically used for long-term prophylaxis, without systemic side effects - without causing any harmful consequences for the patient. Corticosteroids can be used in all other forms of allergic diseases, mainly for more severe forms of the disease. They are prescribed alone or in combination with other groups of drugs. Only in exceptional cases, in case of severe forms of the disease and usually for short periods, they are applied in the form of tablets or parenterally (high dose).
  • Antihistamines are the most commonly prescribed medications for symptoms of allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and urticaria. They are usually prescribed in forms of tablets, drops or syrups, less often locally (in the form of a nasal spray or eye drops). Contemporary antihistamines are reliable and safe drugs, without the side effects, which successfully relieve most allergy symptoms in mild forms of the disease, especially if they are taken before the onset of problems.
  • Anti-leukotrienes - group of anti-inflammatory drugs used for the control of allergic diseases of the respiratory system, independently (in milder degrees) or in addition to other drugs (typically corticosteroids) in moderate or severe stages of the disease.

In cases of worsening of respiratory symptoms in patients with allergic asthma (shortness of breath, wheezing, rattling, choking) inhaled bronchodilators are used (they do not belong to the group of medicines which control allergic diseases) with possible brief application of high doses of corticosteroids.

The aim of the use of drugs in the treatment of allergic diseases is prevention and reduction of the symptoms to the extent that they do not interfere with the patient`s everyday life. Ideal result of therapy would be the lack of any symptoms. The therapy begins with a single or combination of drugs at lower doses. If necessary, the doses of already used drugs increase or new medications are added, until a satisfactory control of the disease is achieved. For seasonal allergens the therapy should always start a few weeks (at least 2 weeks) before the start of the season of flowering of plants which pollen causes sensibilization and continuously carry it out during the season.

For year-round allergens the therapy is carried out continuously with possible reduction of the dose or discontinuation of prophylaxis during summer when the exposure to allergens is lower due to a long stay in the open, and non-heating and airing of living space.