Allergies Health Center - Allergy Symptom - Health Conditions & Communities
How to control your allergies
Whether it's pollen, pets or peanuts, millions of us suffer from allergies. Here's some excellent treatment advice from leading ear, nose and throat expert
Allergies are abnormal immune responses to allergens like pollen grains, dust, moulds and foodstuffs. The allergens can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, injection, or external skin contact. Allergens cause abnormal production of immunoglobulin E (IgE), an antibody already present in the body in small amounts. When the antigen makes contact with some part of the body, it is taken up, processed by Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) and presented on a Class II MHC to Helper cells. In the early stages of allergy, a type I hypersensitivity reaction against an allergen, encountered for the first time, causes a response in the T helper cells. These T helper cells produce cytokines which stimulate B-cells to produce large amount of IgE by proliferating IgE producing plasma cells. Secreted IgE circulates in the blood and binds to an IgE-specific receptor on the surface of mast cells and basophils, which are both involved in the acute inflammatory response. The IgE-coated cells, at this stage are sensitized to the allergen. During second exposure, antigen binds to the IgE antibodies on the mast cells. Activated mast cells and basophils undergo degranulation to release histamine and other inflammatory chemical mediators (cytokines, interleukins, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins) from their granules into the surrounding tissue causing several systemic effects, such as Nasal Stuffyness, Sneezing, Runny nose, Watery eyes and mucous discharge. This animation delineates the process of immune response on encounter with an allergen.
Overview of the main issues in food processing as it relates to food allergy. Dr. describes some of the issues that physicians deal with, as well as the need for consumer awareness. This presentation was part of a UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Food Safety Workgroup, to identify areas in which the safety of California foods can be enhanced through university research and outreach.
To treat dust allergies, keep the home environment as clean as possible, put allergy-proof dust mite covers on the mattress and pillows, and consider taking asthma medications for the allergy itself. Keep a clean environment to reduce dust mites in the house with health information from an immunologist in this free video on allergies.