Living with Allergy and Immune Disorders

Living life with allergy and immune disorders can be complicated and irritating. This article is designed to help further educate the millions of people living life with these frustrating disorders.

Living with Allergy and Immune Disorders: Allergic Rhinitis
So how do you know if you have this disorder? The following are symptoms that are usually evident in this condition:
Seasonal occurrence of nasal allergy problems such as:
� Pruritus
� Congestion
� Rhinorrhea
� or paroxysms of sneezing, ierythema, irritation, eczematous dermatitis

In 40% of patients with allergy related rhinitis, these symptoms can manifest lower respiratory problems. The symptoms for this disorder are usually coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or dyspnea. In more severe cases, inflame nasal mucosa may be revealed. Although allergy symptoms vary between different types of rhinitis there are several of these allergy disorders that one may have. Different types of rhinitis are as follows:
� viral rhinitis
� vasomotor rhinitis
� drug induced rhinitis
� hormonal rhinitis
� rhinitis medicamentosa
� atrophic rhinitis

A person suffering from these severe nasal allergy problems should be seen by their doctor to find out if they have acute or chronic rhinitis. There are three main areas of allergy management:
1. avoidance of the allergen
2. symptomatic pharmacologic therapy
3. specific allergen immunotherapy

AVOIDANCE is the most effective treatment for any and all allergy disorders but, is not always practical. We can not always live our lives in doors nor can we expect anyone else to. But, you can minimize exposure to certain allergens that give you a more severe allergic reaction.

Pollens are air born particles that can travel through the air long distances but they are more dangerous and concentrated around their main point of origin. Keeping your windows and doors closed and changing your air conditioning filters in your home can significantly reduce your allergy attacks.

Pet Dander is a common allergy problem but can easily be reduced in your home. Keeping your pets out of certain areas such as your bedroom can reduce your allergic reactions. If you have a severe allergy to pet dander you may want to keep your pets outside or confined to a separate portion of your home. Unfortunately, studies show that washing your animals frequently has no bearing on levels of pet dander.

Dust Mites are a highly irritating allergy. They can live in your mattress, pillows, carpet, bedding, couches, chairs�literally everywhere. If you have severe allergies to dust mites, the following can help reduce the attacks that you suffer.
1. Get rid of carpet, use hardwood or tile floors
2. Dust frequently
3. Wash all bedding and pillows; make sure to dry them at a high temperature, at least once a week.
4. Futons are a good way to go for living room furniture as they usually have covers that can be taken off and washed as frequently as you need.

Mold Spores, these allergens are unavoidable at certain seasons, so avoiding outside activities is necessary if this is one of your main allergy problem.

PHARMACOLOGICAL options, which is commonly referred to as medicinal options. There are many medicines out there on the market today of both over the counter and prescription. Depending on the nature of your symptoms and whether the onset of the allergy is rapid or slow several medicines can help you.
� Antihistamines
� Sympathomimetic drugs
� Corticosteroids
� Cromolyn sodium/sodium nedocromil
� Leukotriene antagonists
� Anticholinergic agents

IMMUNOTHERAPY is treatment by long term injection of allergens. But, first you must go through the indications of both the severity of the allergy and duration of the symptoms. This treatment is often recommended by doctors with people who have severe allergic reactions such as rhinitis and rhinoconjunctivitis and who respond poorly to medicine. These people usually react badly to pollen, molds and household dust/dust mites.

Immunological effects is preferable to desensitization. Circulating the levels of IgE anti-bodies specific to the purposed allergens increase slightly within the first few months of using, but then significantly decrease. Eventually, lowering levels so that the allergic reaction can potentially be blunted and eliminated.

Some adverse reactions take place to treatments and although they are not harmful the dose can easily be adjusted to decrease reaction.

Living with Allergy and Immune Disorders: Autoimmunity
Autoimmune disease can not be pin-pointed by one cause. The four major theories regarding autoimmune diseases are as follows:
1. The release of normally sequestered antigens
2. Shared antigens between micro organism and the host
3. Programmed cell death leading to abnormal autoreactive cellular clones
4. Defects in T cell function

*genetics may also play a part in this immune disorder.

Some specific autoimmune diseases are mediated by T cells that have become immunized to autologous tissues. Usually diminished separate T cell activity may result in disordered immune function and auto reactivity.

So whether you suffer from allergy or immune disorders it is my hope this article can help you better understand the complexities and issues surrounding these conditions. The first step with any disorder is to understand it, the next is to accept it and the third is to protect yourself from it/learn to deal with it. For more information, check out the resource section to get further instruction on these serious medical problems.

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