According to the World Allergy Organization (WAO), about 30%-40% of people in the world are affected by one or more allergic diseases. including allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, allergic asthma and so on. In other words, one in three people around us is suffering from allergies.
Why Do We Get Allergies?
When foreign substances enter the human body, they mostly face three fates:
1. If they are identified by the body as useful or harmless substances, they will live in harmony with the human body and will eventually be absorbed, utilized or naturally discharged.
2. Some of them are mistakenly identified by the body as useful or harmless substances, and then allergic reactions will occur.
3. When they are identified as harmful substances, the immune system of the body immediately responds to drive them away or eliminate them, which is the protective effect of the immune response.
Allergy is caused by the organism's immune system mistaking some originally harmless substances as dangerous foreign invaders, resulting in abnormal or pathological reactions, such as local erythema, edema, and itching on the skin.
Simply put, allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system. Allergic disease is a systemic disease in which sensitized cells come into contact with allergens again and develop allergic symptoms.
What Are the Common Allergens?
Allergy is actually an immune reaction of the body. Under normal circumstances, the immune system can accurately identify and remove substances harmful to the body. But some people's immune system is too sensitive to recognize normal substances as "allergens".
1. Flying Catkins
Every spring, catkins fly all over the sky in many places, and these catkins contain dust and pathogenic microorganisms, which are easy to induce allergic reactions.
Especially the elderly, children and people who have respiratory diseases will have a particularly strong reaction to catkins, and will have symptoms such as itching of nasal cavity, throat, eyes, wheezing, cough and so on.
Although the flowers bloom beautifully in Spring, this is also the peak of "pollinosis". Tiny pollen particles will fly around with the air, and some of them will be inhaled by people, which can lead to respiratory tract infection, conjunctivitis and other symptoms.
In Spring and Summer, the sunlight is getting stronger and stronger. Some people are allergic to the sunlight, and they will get symptoms of redness and itching after exposure to the sun on their face, neck and other exposed parts.
If you eat too much or come into contact with photographic foods, such as mango, strawberry, celery, fennel, spinach, leek and wild vegetables, and are exposed to sunlight after eating them, phytophotodermatitis will appear in the exposed parts.
4. Pet Hair and Secretions
In Spring, the temperature rises, everything comes back to life, and pets (dogs, cats, etc.) also begin to enter the "shedding period".
These shed hair and the microorganisms in the soil float in the air and adhere to the skin with the contact of clothes, and these microorganisms and bacteria in the pet fur will stimulate the skin, induce inhalation irritation, and then cause skin itching.
How to Protect Against Allergies?
For people suffering from allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, allergic skin disease and other allergic diseases, in addition to receiving standardized treatment, protective measures should also be taken in daily life.
The most direct method is of course to reduce the number of visits to places with more pollen and catkins, such as parks. People with solar dermatitis should avoid direct sunlight as much as possible.
In addition, the following precautions should be kept in mind:
1. Avoid Periods of High Pollen Counts
Spring is the season of plant pollination. In order to prevent allergic symptoms, it is necessary to avoid staying outdoors for a long time. The pollen counts tends to peak at 14 p.m. If allergic people need to go out, it is best to avoid the period of high pollen counts from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m.
At the same time, it is best to wear masks and long sleeved clothes to reduce the chance of direct contact with pollen.
2. Take Sunscreen Measures When Going Out
For people with sensitive skin, sunscreen measures should be taken to resist the allergy caused by UV radiation.
However, it should be noted that sunscreen cream must be selected carefully, because some creams contain chemicals that can cause skin allergies, such as benzophenone-3, oxybenzone, avobenzone, etc.
3. Regular Work and Rest and Healthy Diet
It's better to take more high-quality protein and food rich in amino acids, such as milk, eggs, fish, beef, etc., and maintain a good work and rest time, strengthen physical exercise, and keep fitness to enhance immunity.
4. Keep the Indoor Environment Clean
The more furnishings there are at home, the more potential allergens there are. It is suggested that people with allergies should not lay carpets or put all kinds of plush toys and other things that are easy to get dusts. Also, it's better to clean mattresses, bedding and fabrics every two weeks.
Moreover, it is recommended to use an air purifier at home to collect the potential allergens like dusts, pet fur, etc. and keep home air clean and fresh.
- The causes of allergy vary. If you have symptoms of allergy, you should go to the hospital in time for allergen testing to identify the allergen.
- If necessary, desensitization treatment can be carried out under the guidance of doctors to prevent the development of allergies and alleviate symptoms. Do not take drugs without authorization.
- Patients with allergies can always keep histamine drugs at home, but be sure to take them under the guidance of a doctor.
1. Climate Change; Data from Federal University Minas Gerais (UFMG) Advance Knowledge in Climate Change (Endophytic fungus diversity in soybean plants submitted to conditions of elevated atmospheric CO2 and temperature)[J]. Chemicals & Chemistry,2020.
2. Pawankar, R., Canonica, G., Holgate, S., & Lockey, R. (2011). World Allergy Organization (WAO) white book on allergy. WAO.