Allergy: Correcting Our Immune System’s Mistakes

Pollen, household dust, cat fur, citrus, chocolate, nuts, eggs, milk…

Correct, they can all cause allergies. We know that it manifests itself with a runny nose, sneezing, tearing, rash, and in more serious cases — even suffocation. Unfortunately, allergies significantly limit a person. For example, you may love cats very much, but an allergy does not allow you to have your own kitten. Or cry every time you are given flowers, and not at all from joy.

What is an allergy? First, a foreign substance — an antigen — enters your body. The immune system perceives it as a threat and begins to produce antibodies. Only there are various types of them, depending on the nature of the foreign substance that has entered the body.

In the case of allergies, the immune system «makes a mistake» and synthesizes «wrong» antibodies. They bind to immune cells, which in turn release a large amount of inflammation mediators. Among them, histamine is responsible for the development of allergy symptoms.

What are the effects of histamine? This substance dilates blood vessels, creates swelling, disrupts blood circulation. As a result, the airways narrow and a lot of mucus is released, the eyes tear. Muscle spasm in the bronchi makes breathing difficult, blood pressure drops sharply, anaphylactic shock can develop.

How is allergy treated? The most important thing is to minimize contact with the allergen. If you know that nuts cause an allergic reaction — carefully look at the composition of food products and avoid them. It will also not hurt to do allergy tests. As a rule, if a person has an allergy to something — it is not the only one.

If you are unlucky, and the allergy manifests itself on more common things than nuts (for example, pollen) — you cannot do without allergy medications.

How do antihistamines work? These substances block histamine receptors on the surface of body cells. Now histamine, even in the case of a large amount in the blood, cannot manifest its effects. Bronchospasm decreases, swelling subsides, runny nose and tearing stop.

Which antihistamine is better to use? There are 3 generations, the first two have a toxic effect on the liver and heart, so more promising solutions are being sought. Also, these substances penetrate the brain and cause drowsiness, reduce concentration, lower productivity.

The best choice in 2020 will be the FDA-approved drug — fexofenadine hydrochloride. It has more pronounced activity compared to its predecessors. But its main advantage is that it does not penetrate into brain tissues and does not affect other receptors in the body. This means that after taking it, you can work productively, drive a car, and concentrate on tasks.

Fexofenadine does not show toxic effects on the heart, the maximum concentration in the blood is reached after 6 hours and is maintained for 24 hours — this means that you need to take only 1 tablet per day. The drug is approved for children from 12 years old. If you want to learn more about quality drugs for the home medicine cabinet — read about it in our article.

You can familiarize yourself with the trade names of fexofenadine here.