Allergy appears as a vigorous body defence against everything it recognizes as foreign, which, in a normal situation, would not lead to any reaction.
When allergens reach the body, antibodies are created which results in release of histamine, which increases the permeability of the capillary walls and small vein oedema, heart action becomes more contractile, and the frequency of health beat increases as well as the intestine motility, and bronchoconstriction occurs in the respiratory system.
Antihistamines block the action of histamine. Their action is systemic and they are applied prior to the body exposure to allergens. They can interact with other drugs and food, and they are therefore introduced in therapy strictly upon doctor's recommendation.
Allergy products can be divided according to symptoms:
- respiratory (in rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis), withtherapythat includes spasm and bronchial musculature relief drugs and breathing facilitators, drugs that reduce nasal secretion and blockage and sneezing; drugs in the form of nose drops and sprays, inhalation dorps and sprays, as well as antihistamines with systemic action.
- allergicconjunctivitisis treated with local action drops (eye drops); thus preventing allergy symptoms. They can be used as antihistamines,blocking the histamine receptors on the conjunctiva and reducing the itch, but, perorally, they dehydrate the eye and have no effect on the redness or oedema. Capillary constrictor drugs are also included, thereby reducing the eye redness. One should be cautious, since they should not be used over long periods of time. Steroid drops and local congestives are used in extreme cases on account of possible unwanted effects (increase of intraocular pressure and cataract)
- skin allergies(urticarias, oedemas, atopic dermatitis). First, the causes of allergy must be removed from the skin by using mild antiseptics or warm water, cold coverings are placed on swollen places thus reducing the swelling, and treatment is undertaken cautiously, with adequate products in the form of ointment, cream, suspension, solution or emulsions prepared magistrally, with prescribed formulae or as a pharmacologic product. Products are introduced in therapy depending on the allergy intensity; in milder forms, natural camomile based products are used in the form of a gel, while in extreme cases, the corticosteroids are used. Decision on the use of corticosteroid in therapy and the duration of it is made by the doctor.
- Atopic dermatitisoccurs in children; it is hereditary, and it manifests in very dry, cracked skin, with redness; it mainly affects the face, neck and wrists, and appears as result of corruption of skin construction and reduction of the lipid composition of the skin, whereby the penetration of allergens into the deeper structures of the skin becomes easier. The therapy mainly includes products that contain a grease component (different herbal oils, etheric oils, altoin, shea butter without preservatives) which protect the skin from dehydration and cracking, as well as the anti-inflammatory products.
Magistrally made creams prove to be very efficient in allergic skin care processes. Skin allergiesrequire choosing an adequate product to treat the allergy as well as in skin care. This includes products which protect the skin from the action of allergens, containing as little irritating substances as possible. As of recently, there are also hermetically sealed creams with a pump, without preservatives or quality enhancing products, and without perfumes which case allergies in many instances.
Prevention of allergies is done with products for protection against sun, with UV filters, by consumption of calcium containing products (heath and renal patients must be careful), and, as of recently, there are also allergy prevention products (for example those on the basis of algae). And the most important rule is to prevent, or at least to reduce, exposure to allergens.
The choice of the allergy product is left to us, in most cases. Long waiting in doctors' ordinations makes us think twice whether to visit the doctor and seek help at all, and we wonder if it will be of any help at all. We then turn to herbal products and decide about the therapy on our own, not thinking about the consequences. We must be cautious though, because what we have read at the forums, or heard in anecdotalstories, does necessarily have to be helpful to us, and more importantly, we must take care not to worsen our condition and cause complications which sometimes cannot be rectified. That is why it is important that we do not act as our own doctors, and do not buy and concoct products following recommendations of uneducated and unprofessional people. Instead, we MUST go to our family doctor, and ask questions and consult the pharmacist, when choosing an allergy product.