We have finally said good-bye to winter and are about to welcome in the fabulous spring and summer weather . . . unfortunately this means allergy season is upon us.
Allergies are caused by a hypersensitivity disorder arising from the immune system. An allergic reaction occurs when our immune system over reacts to the normally harmless substances in the environment. Normally we get accustomed to these allergens via the natural antibodies our bodies produce. However, allergy-related antibodies, known as immunoglobulin E or IgE, become bonded to mast cells typically found in the lungs, nose, and skin which then release chemicals called mediators. These mediators, better known as histamine, lead to symptoms including hives, rashes, wheezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. These symptoms are typically related to mild allergies like hay fever, dander, pollen, and dust. In extreme cases, this can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction characterized by difficulty with breathing, itching and hives.
Many people believe that over the counter anti-histamines or steroids is the best way to prevent and treat allergic reactions and symptoms. However what many people do not know is that there are many tips and products on the market today that can give relief and diminish allergies without using medicines. This can mean huge cost savings for the 40% of Canadian households that contains an allergy sufferer or someone who has environmental sensitivities.
There is obviously no way to control airborne allergen particles or other allergen irritants everywhere you go, however starting to control the environment in your own home is easy and will no doubt give some sort of allergy relief. In order to reduce these allergens a close examination of cleaning products, air purifiers, and cleaning procedures, should be completed.
Continue reading our allergy series below to find out what you can to do to help minimize symptoms.