Allergies affect about 20% of the US population and can affect human lives due to the discomfort they bring. Children who suffer from allergic reactions all throughout the year may miss schooldays due to the discomfort of frequent sneezing, itchy eyes, throat and nose, hives, and sometimes stomach pain and vomiting, if the allergy is caused by food. Adults become unproductive at work during allergy attacks.
Allergies can be caused by a variety of substances, from food to pollen, animal dander (cat and dog hair), dust mites, cotton fiber, and so on. Although allergens can differ from one person to the next, the physical reactions are often the same. Allergic reactions happen when the body’s immune system releases antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which secrete histamines that cause the symptoms. It is the body’s way to get rid of the allergens which it considers as invaders.
Patients are often treated with anti-histamines, nasal sprays and decongestants. However, there are some adverse side effects observed with some patients who take these medications. Some of the most common side effects observed are sleepiness, headaches, blurred vision, dryness in the throat, mouth, nose and eyes, upset stomach, dizziness, nausea and constipation.
Oftentimes, the side effects happen because of overdosing or taking the medicines with other medications prescribed for other diseases. Nasal sprays, for example often provide immediate relief, with their albuterol and beta based content, which relieves difficulty in breathing. However, a patient can also suffer from the side effects mentioned, if nasal sprays are used too frequently.
Doctors may also prescribe corticosteroids, to lessen inflammation in the bronchial area. However, some people may also have reactions to it such as blurry vision, abdominal pains, swelling of eyelids, stuffy noses, acne or skin rash and muscle cramps and general fatigue.. In other instances, use of medications with corticosteroids for a long time, may also lead to weight gain and liquid retention. Cataracts may also develop as well as high blood sugar which can lead to diabetes.
Alternative Treatments For Allergy Relief
With all the possible side effects that a person can get from frequent use of anti-histamines, anti-inflammatory drugs and nasal sprays that are often prescribed for allergy relief, it is no wonder that people are looking for alternative treatments for allergies. Keeping yourself informed on the pollen level of the area where you live will also help you avoid exposure to pollen, which may trigger allergies.
A change in diet and lifestyle can work wonders for allergy relief. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables that are rich in natural vitamins can increase your body’s resistance to allergies, without necessarily taking anti-allergy medications. Avoiding foods that you know will trigger your allergies is also a practical solution. Using dehumidifiers and air filters can also clear your environment of allergy producing substances such as pollen, dust, mold and mildew.
You can also try doing some breathing exercises. These will come in handy during an allergy attack, which can severely constrict the airways and make breathing difficult. Yoga is an effective means to distress which can also teach you proper breathing techniques. Acupuncture is another alternative treatment to allergies. The main objective of using acupuncture is to keep the balance in the body, which can make it more resistant to diseases.
Regularly doing housekeeping to keep your home free from dusts and mold is the most practical solution to allergies. There are many mold and mildew chemicals, however, read the labels to make sure that there are no elements that can also trigger an allergic reaction.
Prevention still remains the best treatment for allergies. Know the causes of your allergies by getting medical attention and following your doctor’s instructions to cure allergies.