North Texas Daily

The science behind hated springtime allergies

The science behind hated springtime allergies

The science behind hated springtime allergies
April 11
14:17 2018

Many of us are all too familiar with the unfortunate side to spring. With the blooming flowers and the perfect weather comes the torment of seasonal allergies.

Our immune system is a highly evolved tool which can sense the presence of foreign biotic and abiotic materials. It can react in an instant to combat potential threats posed by these materials.

Depending on the genes you carry, you may be predisposed to have certain allergies. For example, if you are allergic to a particular allergen, like pollen or dust, your immune system will treat the presence of the allergen as a threat.

The immune system snaps into action and defends your body with histamine production or immunoglobulin, both of which are a fraction of your immune defense artillery.

While your immune system is convinced its saving you from potentially hazardous invaders, the consequences of this defense mechanism can be annoying at best and intolerable at worst. When histamine is produced, capillaries dilate and smooth muscles contract.

Your eyes may water, and your nose and throat might itch. These stimuli clean your eyes by flushing them with your tears or produce excess nasal mucus to prevent the inhalation of more allergens.

Have you ever been in the situation where your nose won’t stop running, but you have no tissues, toilet paper or even some rough burlap to stop the flow? I have and it is extremely unpleasant. Nobody wants to be around the guy crying in the corner with a leaky nose.

Thanks to our modern advances in medicine there is a fix to those pesky allergies. Most of us are familiar with over-the-counter Antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin Clear. But something you may not know is that your body will respond differently to different allergy medicines. That which works really well for one person may not help another person one bit.

In addition, extended use of one particular type of allergy medicine can eventually lead you to build a tolerance to its curative effects, leaving you vulnerable to the allergens you are trying so hard to resist.

Knowing your body and learning how to work in tandem with your immune system is key to obtaining some semblance of normality during the brunt of allergy season. Trying different brands can help you find what works for you. Keep in mind that by reading the labels, you may be able to save money by discerning which products are expecting you to pay an extra $8.00 for their brand name.

Don’t hesitate to visit your healthcare professional if you have any questions or if your allergies have become too severe.

With patience and care, you can rid yourself of the unfortunate side of spring and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

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Sean Rainey

Sean Rainey

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1 Comment

  1. Tflow
    Tflow April 15, 15:47

    Very helpful article!

    Reply to this comment

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