If you have ever felt itchy nose, sneezed or coughed, reacting in such a way to plant blossoms, animal hair, dust or unknown irritant, you probably belong to the third of the world's population prone to allergies.
Allergy - is one of the most common immune system disorders in the world, manifested by hypersensitivity in response to contact with substances foreign to the body. Approximately 10-30% of the world's population suffers from allergic reactions and the number of such people is growing annually. Allergens, i.e. substances that provoke allergies, can be certain foods, pollen, pets, household chemicals, medicines and other factors.
There are 3 flowering periods in Ukraine:
- 1 - spring - from early March to mid-May - is associated mainly with the flowering of trees: alder, birch, hazel, oak, ash, hornbeam, lilac;
- 2 - summer - from mid-May to the end of July, caused by pollen of meadow and cereal grasses - timothy, mud grass, couch grass, wheat, wheat, rye, oats, corn, dandelion;
- 3 - summer-autumn - from mid-July to October, caused by the flowering of weeds: wormwood, quinoa, plantain, nettle, ragweed.
The main symptoms of seasonal allergies are: itching and redness of the eyes, a feeling of sand in the eyes, lacrimation, runny nose, sneezing attacks, difficult nasal breathing. In the case of severe pollenosis, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis may be accompanied by cough, shortness of breath, which are manifestations of bronchial asthma, severe skin manifestations such as urticaria or angioedema. The patient must consult a doctor and not take anti-allergic medications on their own.
Immunotherapy for allergies (or desensitization) is a kind of course that accustoms the patient's body to the allergen, so that the immune system stops reacting to specific allergens, and develops resistance (tolerance) to these allergens. Immunotherapy is carried out by courses of injections that can last several years.
Allergies: when to see a doctor?
- If over-the-counter allergy medications are ineffective and allergy symptoms are increasing;
- development of bronchospasm, inability to breathe properly;
- dizziness, loss of consciousness;
- anaphylaxis, especially the onset of shock.
Prevention of allergies
In order to reduce the risk of allergic diseases, it is advisable to take measures for its prevention: to strengthen the immune system, avoid stress, do not start chronic diseases, rationally use medicines (do not use them uncontrollably), lead a healthy lifestyle, eat right.
The diet for allergies is, firstly, to avoid foods that cause allergic reactions, including cross reactions; secondly, to adhere to the principles of healthy eating: eat a lot of vegetables, up to 50% of the total volume of food, consume a moderate amount of meat (no more than the daily requirement - 50-60 grams of protein), more vegetable fats, complex carbohydrates (eg, durum wheat pasta, whole grain bread) and fish.
The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid contact with allergens that trigger them.