AaaChoo! Stupid Allergies!!!! Part 1: Definitions

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Stupid Allergies! I cannot tell you how many times I have said that this spring and summer.  Maybe you have too.

Sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, headache, these are the common side effects of allergies.  Most everyone I know has one form of an allergy or another.

allergies photoFrom hay fever to potentially dangerous food allergies, you or maybe someone you know is affected by allergens, pollen, dust, or cats.  But, perhaps you don’t know what that exactly means or the many ways they can be treated.

Allergy (1):  A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system.  Wow, there are a lot of misguided immune systems out there!  What does the immune system do when it is misguided?  It creates Histamines (2) to attack the allergen(s).

Histamines cause runny noses, itchy eyes, hives and headaches.  Normally, we want that line of defense in our bodies but, in the case of allergies, it is a false alarm.

Some say that the potential for allergies is genetic (3).  So, because my father and mother both have hay fever, I have a 60% (4) chance of getting hay fever.  If just one parent has hay fever, the risk is reduced to 30% and if none of the parents have hay fever, the risk of you having an allergy is reduced to 15%!

What to do?  What to do?  Well, you can always go to your doctor and get a prescription for Allegra (anti-histamine),  Flonase(5) (corticosteroid) or Singulair (leukotriene-blocking).

There are several over the counter medications Claritan (decongestant), Zyrtec, and Benadryl.   There are also natural remedies such as, butterbur and stinging nettles.

All of these options have side effects, some severe, others merely annoying.  There are actions you can take to reduce the allergens in your life, de-clutter to reduce dust,  get an air purifier or wear a mask.

In this series, I will explore all the remedy options; decongestants, antihistamines, leukotriene-blocking medications and the natural remedies.  I will look at most of the allergy types, from the common, pollen, dust and pets to the deadly;  bee stings and peanuts.  I will discuss the side effects of the medications and remedies and give you information that you can use in your quest to relieve yourself of those Stupid Allergies!

Next Stupid Allergies!!!!

(1), (2), (3), (4): http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6748

(5): http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/allergy-medications/aa00037

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