Dealing with Allergy Symptoms


Allergies – they are a nuisance to all who suffer from them. Researchers of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimate that 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies. That means that about one out of every five Americans suffer from some form of allergies, whether seasonal, induced by exposure to allergens, or a pre-existing condition such as asthma.

While millions of people suffer from seasonal allergies, the number of people who fall victim to some form of allergies keeps growing. Symptoms of allergies can range from mild to severe, but the way our immune system processes and reacts when we become exposed to allergens are the same in all cases.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are defined as an overreaction or abnormal reaction by your immune system due to foreign particles or substances entering your body through inhalation, consumption, or touch. Allergens can come in the form of many offenders, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, food, etc.

How Our Body Reacts When Exposed to Allergens

Our respiratory system allows us to breathe. It contains the lungs, nose, eyes, and throat. Our body’s immune system was assigned the responsibility to fight off any kind of foreign object that it may feel is harmful to our body.  These harmful substances are called antigens, a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body, due to the production of antibodies. Antigens can be a virus or bacteria, but in this case of allergies, they are allergens such as pollen, dust, or dander.

After exposure, when these allergens enter the respiratory system, specifically into the sinuses, the body will usually identify them as harmful, as it was designed to do. As mentioned before, as a reaction, the immune system produces antibodies to help fight off the allergens.

Due to repeated exposure to these allergens, the body gradually produces large amounts of these antibodies specifically to the type of allergen present, and stimulates these cells called mast cells within the respiratory system. This is return, leads to the release of a chemical called histamine, which produces the common symptoms we feel when we have allergies, such as congestion, runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, coughing, skin irritation, difficulty breathing, and sneezing.

This release of histamine brings about those symptoms that make us feel dreadful, but it is also beneficial, as an effort to expel the bad bacteria and harmful allergens out of our body. 

Dealing with Your Allergy Symptoms

Dealing with allergies and the symptoms that come with it, can leave you feeling sick and frustrated. People often don’t want to take medicine until it is necessary, so finding out what exactly may be the cause of your allergies is of upmost importance.

The simplest way to handle your allergy symptoms and avoid the wrong form of treatment, is to go to your doctor and find out what is causing your allergy symptoms. It’s not uncommon for people to assume they are allergic to pollen or dust, but in reality, it could be much more than that, such as asthma. Asthma is often induced by allergens, called allergic asthma. Therefore, an allergy specialist can be helpful in identifying the main cause of your allergies through simple allergy testing. The more you know about your allergies, the better you can handle your symptoms.

To learn more about how to deal with your allergy symptoms, call Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at (815) 477-7350. Call or request an appointment online today, to get on the path of breathing and sleeping with ease.

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