In this period, those who are genetically predisposed are likely to encounter annoying ailments
Many are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the primavera to spend more time outdoors, thanks to the more pleasant climate. Certainly, those who suffer from are not included in this category of people so-called spring allergies. In fact, such a problem can give rise to several ailments, also very annoying. Thankfully, the symptoms can be kept under control.
ALLERGIES DEPEND ON THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
All types of allergies are caused by a malfunctioning immune system. When a genetically predisposed person comes into contact with the “offending” substance (called allergens) your immune system produces Ige (immunoglobulin E), which cause degranulation of certain cells, ie mast cells and basophils. In turn, this process causes the release of certain chemical mediators, especially histamine, thus giving rise to the so-called “inflammatory cascade”, which is the basis of the symptoms that characterize allergies. There are several trees and herbaceous plants that bloom in spring and which, in predisposed subjects, can cause problems. The most common allergens this season are pollen birch, hornbeam, hazel and alderwhich flower between January and April, the month in which they also pollinate grasses. Furthermore, between April, May and June there is the peak of the flowering of theolive and of parietaria, which represent the most common allergies in central-southern Italy. “Especially when the spring is rainy, those who trigger allergic reactions can also be bothered by thealternariaa mold whose concentration in the air tends to increase the more humid it is,” adds la Dr. Mona-Rita Yacoubcoordinator of the Allergological Area of the Immunology, Rheumatology, Allergology and Rare Diseases Unit of the Irccs San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.
Spring ALLERGIES: symptoms affecting EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT
There are three conditions that distinguish spring allergies: the rhinitisconjunctivitis e l’asma. Allergic rhinitis presents with a stuffy and runny nose, sneezing and itching, a nuisance also typical of conjunctivitis, which also manifests itself with tearing and redness of the eyes. Instead, asthma is characterized by coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. In most allergic people, contact with the allergen causes rhinitis and/or conjunctivitis, while some only have asthma. Sometimes, however, all three problems manifest themselves at the same time. “They play a fundamental role in this size of the pollen: the little ones, like those of the parietaria, tend to trigger asthma more often” observes Dr. Yacoub. To prevent symptoms from appearing, one should stay away from the allergen. As this is not always possible, it can help to wear the mask on days of high pollination.
Spring ALLERGIES: remedies
Depending on the symptom that the allergy causes, there are various ways to alleviate the discomfort. In case of rhinitis we start with the use of a oral antihistamine as needed. If this treatment does not give results, we move on to cycles topical intranasal therapies with steroids or topical drugs based on steroids and antihistamines. When necessary, oral antihistamines are used even when the allergy causes conjunctivitis or antihistamines in the form of eye drops if the therapy is not effective or in case of only ocular involvement. More complex is the situation when allergy causes asthma, which is an inflammatory condition of the airways that requires basic therapy. It starts with a inhaled corticosteroidpossibly adding a broncodilatatore long-acting and, if needed, a leukotriene antagonist, modulating the dosages from time to time. If even so the desired results are not achieved, it is resorted to biological drugs. “The one described is a symptomatic therapy. In patients with well-controlled rhinitis and asthma, one can try to attenuate the immune response to the allergen with theimmunotherapy specific allergen. It is a treatment that lasts from 3 to 5 years and which consists in administering minimal quantities of allergen in order to make the person less sensitive when exposed to it. This is the only therapy capable of modifying the natural history of allergic disease,” concludes Dr. Yacoub.
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