An allergy is characterized as an immune reaction to the presence of certain substances in one’s body. Allergies occur when the immune system confuses a harmless substance for a pathogen. The immuniglobin responsible for allergies is IgE immuniglobin. Humans are not born with IgE antibodies in their body. IgE develops 10 days after the first exposure to allergens. Therefore, repeated exposure to an allergen is needed to develop an allergy. Allergies often do not form on the first exposure.
Have you ever wondered why people have specific allergies? This is because IgE immuniglobins have a single protein structure and a set of molecules that all have a slightly different structure. IgE, for example that react with pollen, is not the same as IgE that will react with dust. People who have allergic reactions also have more IgE present in their bodies than the average, non-allergic person. For example: people with hay fever have about 14 times more IgE than those who don’t.
There are four basic ways in which allergens can enter human bodies: inhalation, contact, ingestion or injection. There are also two basic types of allergic reactions known as: immediate or delayed. In a delayed allergic reaction, symptoms usually appear around 4 hours, a few days after exposure to an allergen. In an immediate reaction, symptoms usually appear only minutes after exposure.
The chemical that is associated with allergy symptoms such as itching or swelling is called histamine. Histamine is the main chemical involved in allergies. Histamine is formed by the breakdown of histine, which is an amino acid. Histamine causes many things that lead to the symptoms manifested during an allergic reaction. Histamine, for example, can cause some muscles to contract or swell or stimulate the production of tears or saliva. It can also cause dilation of the blood vessels, which leads to swelling. The most serious reaction related to histamine is known as anaphylactic shock. This occurs when an allergy causes a significant drop in blood pressure and can result in death.
There are chemical treatments that are used to treat allergies. Some of these treatments include: steroids and antihistamines. Antihistamines are the most commonly distributed chemical treatment for allergies. Antihistamines simply block histamines from certain sites on cells, preventing allergic reactions from histamines from occurring. There are many antihistamine drugs that affect people in different ways. That’s why it is best to consult a doctor on the one that best suits your body type and allergy. Steroids work to relieve swelling, itching and redness that occur as a result of an allergic reaction. Therefore, steroids are often used on allergic symptoms such as urticaria or eczema.