Allergic rhinitis and an overactive immunity

Allergies can be a year-round problem. When you suffer from allergies, the “cough and cold season” isn’t confined to the monsoon months and the temperature drops of December through January.

In the summer, pollen, dust and heat are your enemies. In the rainy months, staying indoors means you’ll be in friendly contact with germs and allergens from your homebound companions, including pets.

This means allergic reactions nearly everywhere you turn. Your immune system will have to be healthy in order to stay alert and ready to defend you.

But sometimes, our immune system responds a little too strongly to the allergens entering our body.

An overactive immune system response

Sometimes, our immune system can be too weak to counter the foreign invaders entering our body, leading us to become sick with infection.

For persons with allergies, the immune system reacts strongly to allergens and other intruders. The immune system quickly tightens its defense by releasing antibodies known as IgEs (immunoglobulin), causing an allergic reaction.

These reactions or symptoms include sneezing, a stuffy and/or runny nose, watery, red and itchy eyes, sore and itchy throat, swollen eyelids, dark circles under the eyes, fatigue and others.

How do you avoid these symptoms?

Avoid what triggers your allergies by knowing what they are. Take an allergy test or by simple observation – recall what you were doing or what you were exposed to before the symptoms came on.

Then take the following steps:

1. Dust

It’s found nearly everywhere, whether outdoors or in your own home. So do your best to minimize dust in your environment. Clean and wash bed covers, pillows, curtains and carpets.

2. Pets

Keep pets out of your bedroom or your house, if you can help it. For your dogs, brush them regularly to minimize the amount of hair or fur in your home. For cats or other furries, sweep away the hair/fur they shed right away.

3. Impure air

If you could get an air purifier, then do so. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke whenever you can.

4. Mold

Clean surfaces that easily get wet and often stay damp. Fix water leaks. Clean air conditioners and refrigerator drip pans thoroughly.

5. Other allergens

Change clothes after you’ve been outside. Leave your shoes at the door to avoid tracking allergens into your home. If you use electric fans, clean them at least once a week.

You may also:

Use antihistamines, decongestants and nasal corticosteroids as needed or prescribed by your doctor

Drink lots of water or juice since liquids help to thin the layer of mucus in your nasal passages

Eat healthy, since it has been observed that children with a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables in their diet suffer less symptoms of allergies. It’s also a good idea, anyway.

Wear a mask, especially when you’re outside and are not in control of what the environment can make you breathe in.

Keep your home clean to minimize allergens.

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