CLEVELAND, Ohio – A nightly dose of Zyrtec keeps control of the spring allergy symptoms of Britani Hayes. But if she forgets to accept it, she feels bad.
"My eyes are constantly irritated and I constantly rub them," said Hayes, 26, from Mayfield Heights. She gets a headache and has difficulty sleeping.
Dr. Sam Friedlander, clinical assistant professor of allergies, asthma and sleep medicine at university hospitals, may refer to it.
"Allergies do not seem to be important, but everyone knows how unhappy it is to have a cold." Allergies are like a cold time, "said Friedlander.
The current allergy season is hitting Northeast Ohio hard. Friedlander sees an increase in old and new patients who are helping with allergies and asthma that can be exacerbated by allergic reactions. "1
April showers stimulate plants, trees, and grass to grow, throwing more pollen into the air, cuchening, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, along with discomfort and distraction.
The Z In the late summer, we continue with weeds, mold in spring and autumn, and house dust mites and pets all year round. "It just keeps going," Friedlander said.
What are allergies?
As the sufferers know, allergies occur when the immune system responds to something it should ignore, such as pollen, pet dander, house dust mites, mold and other allergens.
"The body considers it an intruder," Friedlander said. Scientists are still trying to understand why. The disease can occur first in childhood or adulthood.
Allergies and asthma go hand in hand. Allergies aggravate asthma symptoms and lead to irritated bronchial passages, excessive mucus and muscle tension in the lungs. Friedlander said that about 80% of childhood asthma and 50% of adult asthma are related to allergies.
The eczema of the skin disease is also caused by an allergic reaction.
Allergies tend to run in families. Friedlander often sees families in which mother has nasal allergies, the eldest son has asthma, daughter Ekzem and the youngest son has food allergies.
"It's like a lottery – we do not know which allergy will manifest."
It can be difficult to tell the difference between common cold, influenza, or allergies. Every disease affects the respiratory system, but each has symptoms that differentiate it.
Influenza causes high fever, headache, fatigue and pain. These symptoms are generally not associated with colds. Allergies do not cause watery, itchy eyes, colds or flu. Allergies usually do not cause headaches, fatigue, pain and discomfort.
Allergy symptoms usually persist for the six-week pollen season. Colds and influenza usually progress within two weeks. An allergist may perform tests to diagnose and locate an allergy.
There are simple things allergy sufferers can do to find relief:
- Use a central air conditioner with air filter and change the air The filter regularly
- Wear sunglasses and hats outdoors.
- Wipe pets with a towel before entering your home.
- Before going to bed, shower and shampoo to remove pollen from hair and skin.
For more tips, visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. And there are helpful phone apps and websites tracking the current pollen count in the region. The website Pollen.com offers a 5-day allergy forecast. The Weather Channel and Accuweather also have predictions.
Before the allergy season, over-the-counter medications can be taken with antihistamines and prescription allergy medications.
Immunotherapy also helps. These medications – taken in monthly injections or tablets – help the body lose its hypersensitivity to pollen and reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Recent immunotherapies have improved in recent years so they work faster.
Research into new biological therapies and personalized medicine could lead to better allergy treatment in the future, Dr. Dean Metcalfe, Chief Investigator of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
New biological agents – proteins produced by living immune cells – are now available for severe asthma and eczema. They are a relief for years but usually need to be administered in monthly intravenous infusions administered in a doctor's office or infusion center.
Current medical tests are currently testing biologics that could follow a different approach to stopping allergic reactions and be taken at home. This and similar research related to allergies is largely sponsored by the NIH and the pharmaceutical industry, Metcalfe said.
Metcalfe sees a time when allergy specialists examine a patient's genes, determine their allergens, and tailor a drug specifically tailored to them. To achieve this goal, extensive studies are included in the human genome.
"It's hard to imagine we will not get there," Metcalfe said. "We will be around in ten years time."