Common springtime allergies and their causes

Respiratory allergy sufferers who have sensitive bronchial or nasal mucosa are especially sensitive to the change of seasons. These symptoms often mimic the common cold and are often overlooked in favor of asthma or rhinitis.

In addition to seasonal changes in climate, pollen from birch and oak trees is another important factor that can exacerbate symptoms.

Particularly for allergy sufferers, these fine particles and pollen can irritate not only the bronchial tubes but also the skin, and for those with atopic dermatitis, the dryness of the skin during the season can exacerbate symptoms.

Allergic asthma

Allergic asthma is an allergic inflammation caused by external allergens inhaled into the air. Exposure to allergens, soot, or cold air causes the bronchial smooth muscle to contract, resulting in shortness of breath and coughing. These symptoms can be acute and dangerous in some cases, but usually they go in and out of remission.

Many people with asthma experience a “wheezing” sound in their throat in addition to shortness of breath, as air passing through the bronchial tubes makes a noise against the bronchial wall when it narrows significantly. These narrowed bronchial tubes cause shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing, which are the three main symptoms of asthma.

House dust Tiny particles such as dust mites, pollen, mold, pet hair and dander, and insect debris such as cockroaches can be inhaled through the respiratory tract and cause allergic inflammation of the airways. Some patients may also have respiratory allergy symptoms triggered or exacerbated by foods, food additives, and medications.

As of yet, there is no reliable way to prevent allergic asthma. In the case of pediatric allergic diseases, it is important to detect this pathway early, as it is characterized by an allergic march in which patients with atopic dermatitis in infancy and childhood often progress to allergic asthma or allergic rhinitis later in life. In addition, allergic diseases run in families, so if parents have allergic diseases, their children are more likely to develop allergic diseases, so care and attention should be paid.

Allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is an allergic hypersensitivity reaction of the nasal mucosa to certain substances. After the nasal mucosa is exposed to an allergen, an immune response is triggered, which is followed by an allergic inflammatory response that is triggered by various mediators. Allergic rhinitis is characterized by four main symptoms: a clear, watery runny nose, paroxysmal sneezing, itching in the nose or around the eyes, and nasal congestion, with two or more of these symptoms present.

Common dust, temperature changes, cigarette smoke or soot, cosmetics, and stress can also trigger symptoms. Avoiding these triggers can also help prevent them. For house dust mites, use zippered covers for beds, comforters, pillows, blankets, and other items that can easily trap or blow dust, and boil and wash the covers. Vacuuming with a special filter is also helpful.

Treatments for allergic rhinitis include environmental therapy, medications, immunotherapy, and surgery. Environmental therapy involves avoiding different triggers that can cause rhinitis, while medications include antihistamines, corticosteroids, and decongestants.

Immunotherapy involves the regular administration of very low concentrations of allergens that do not cause side effects to desensitize the patient to the offending allergen. It can be used if the antigen has been identified by various tests and if avoidance and pharmacotherapy have not been effective. This method needs to be continued for three to five years to have a long-term effect.

Anaphylactic shock

Allergic shock, also called anaphylaxis, is a severe systemic hypersensitivity reaction that develops rapidly after exposure to certain allergens and can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

Symptoms can range from skin symptoms such as hives, redness, and localized swelling to difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, decreased blood pressure, and loss of consciousness.

The most common triggers are foods such as eggs, milk, peanuts, seafood, flour, buckwheat flour, and fruit, and medications such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and contrast media, but it can also be caused by insect venom such as bees and ants, and physical factors such as exercise and temperature changes.

This is especially true in the spring, when the weather warms up and outdoor activities increase. To prevent and treat anaphylaxis, it is important to recognize the trigger, avoid exposure, and know how to provide first aid.

If acute symptoms occur, the most important first aid measures are to increase blood pressure and clear the airway.

An injection of a sympathomimetic called epinephrine should be given along with oxygen to maintain normal blood pressure and oxygenation. If these measures are delayed, the brain may be deprived of oxygen, leaving severe sequelae even if the person recovers.

Depending on the symptoms, steroids and antihistamines can also help. However, the most important measure for anaphylaxis sufferers is to know exactly what triggered their symptoms so that they can avoid future exposure.

Since the onset of symptoms is often unpredictable, it’s helpful to keep a note in your wallet or necklace that identifies you as an anaphylactic sufferer and the substances to which you are sensitive, so that you can take action in case of an emergency.

If you pass out, bystanders will be able to guess the cause and administer the appropriate first aid, and if it’s caused by a drug, they can prevent you from taking the drug again.

Allergic conjunctivitis

When an allergen comes into contact with the conjunctiva of the eye and causes an allergic inflammation of the conjunctiva, it is called allergic conjunctivitis. Symptoms include itching of the eyes or eyelids, redness of the conjunctiva, generalized pain with burning, glare, and tearing, and may be accompanied by swelling of the conjunctiva (conjunctival edema) and swelling of the eyelids.

Avoiding the substance that causes the allergy is the most important treatment, but since it is difficult to find the exact antigen, most treatments focus on symptomatic treatment. As with other allergic conditions, treatment can be divided into two main approaches: avoidance and medication.

Avoidance therapy is the most important method of treatment for allergic conjunctivitis, as it involves actively avoiding exposure to the offending antigen in the environment if the offending substance is known.

The trigger can be identified by skin prick testing, but in most cases the trigger can be inferred from the occurrence or worsening of symptoms in the environment. Medications include antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, steroid eye drops, and vasoconstrictor eye drops.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the skin. The inflammation is characterized by a red rash and intense itching. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that is common in children and can persist into adulthood.

The pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis is still not fully understood, but it is a multifactorial disease that involves a variety of immunologic, pharmacologic, physiologic, and biochemical triggers in addition to a genetic predisposition to atopy.

The treatment of atopic dermatitis is based on the principles of avoidance, moisturizing, and medication. Avoidance therapy involves avoiding foods that aggravate atopic dermatitis, such as milk and egg whites, and choosing soft, loose-fitting clothing that comes in direct contact with the skin.

It’s also a good idea to avoid triggers in your environment. To moisturize your skin, bathe in lukewarm water and use hypoallergenic soaps or atopic cleansers that don’t irritate your skin.

You should also apply moisturizer after showering and before the water dries to avoid drying out your skin, and you should always apply at least three layers of moisturizer. Medications include itch suppressants, moisturizers, topical steroids, antibiotics, and immunomodulators, which should only be used after full consultation with your doctor.

To prevent atopy, breastfeeding is recommended for babies up to six months old, and you should be careful if you have a family history of it. The skin should always be kept clean and moisturized, and the right temperature and humidity should be maintained.

It is recommended that you wear cotton clothing and keep your nails short, as well as consult with your healthcare provider about any treatments that have not been scientifically proven.

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