What is an allergy?

Allergy Reaction | The Complete Guide [2020]

Allergy reactions and asthma have become a big problem in modern society. Usually, 1 in 13 people have asthma. So let’s take a closer look at allergic reactions by an example.

As human beings, we all dream about a healthy life. Therefore we do many things for such living. But, unfortunately, no one on earth has been able to escape the disease. However, diseases and illnesses range from mild coughs to death-related illnesses. Ok, let’s take a real-world example.

To clarify this, let’ take 100 random people in society. Think that 100 people have to face the same problem. What will happen? Everyone in that set, responds in their way. That’s the nature of it. Now, let’s take this example to understand how our body protects us from the disease.

What call as an allergy is?

For our safety, every animal in the world has its immune system to protect against infection. Merely saying, Allergy is a reaction of our immune system to protect us from things that are harmful to us. In this case, white blood cells do a great job. They are part of our immune system. When a toxic substance enters for the first time, our immune system produces antibodies and sensitized white blood cells when exposed to a normally harmless content. Secondly, the immune system releases histamine and various other chemicals to protect us. 

Consequently, the problem begins. These chemicals are the reason for the symptoms of Allergy. Mainly people can have sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy swelling, inflammation of the eyes, vomiting, or narrowing of the airways in asthma.

Things can be caused for allergy responses

 pollens of the flowers, spores of fungi, house dust, particles of animal hair can be reason to common allergies such as asthma, eczema or hayfever.
Food substance like eggs, fish, wheat, nuts can be the reason for the food allergies. 
Drugs like penicillin and sulfur can produce an allergy.
skin allergies to substances such as rubber and cosmetic products.
Reasons for develop an allergies
  • Substances like pollens of the flowers, spores of fungi, house dust, particles of animal hair can be the reason to common allergies such as asthma, eczema or hayfever.
  • Food substance like eggs, fish, wheat, nuts can be the reason for the food allergies. Food allergies are also common and can be very severe. For example, some sufferers make fatal reactions to nuts and shellfish. In short, Diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps are some of the symptoms of food allergies.
  • Drugs like penicillin and sulfur can produce an allergy. In this case, the patient can have an anaphylactic reaction in which goes into severe allergic reaction, develops shock, and may collapse.
  • Many people also suffer from skin allergies to substances such as rubber and cosmetic products. There is another thing that can make skin allergies. Metabolic elements like nickel, chromium can be cause for skin reactions.

What is an allergen and antibody?

The substance that is causing a reaction in an allergic person is called antigen or allergen.
The substance that is causing a reaction

The substance that is causing a reaction in an allergic person is called antigen or allergen. As we mention, early a toxic substance enters for the first time to our body, and Our immune system reacts it harmless. For the fight against that substance immune system produce antibody. when antigen and antibody meet together, respond to each other. We call that process as an Antigen-antibody reaction.

They are,

  1. Nature of the antigen
  2. Quality of antibodies
  3. Various other factors like mode of introduction of the antigen.

In addition, a person with asthma has antibodies called ‘Reagin’ in the blood and body organs. It is a protein(gamma globulin). In other words, We represent this as IGE. (Here we have considered another few things. ‘Haemagglidinating’ and ‘ Blocking antibodies’ is another form of antibodies. They are also like Reagins produce immediate allergic reactions).

Types of antibodies

There are several types of antibodies, and all have a specific role. The Ig Letters stand for ‘Immunoglobulin.’ Other letters with it say respective classes of antibodies. We use M, G, A, D, and E for this antibody classes.

  • IgE(Immunoglobulin E) – These contain only a small percentage of antibodies and associated with Allergy.
  • IgG(Immunoglobulin G) – This type contains forty-five percent (45%) of antibodies in an average person.
  • IgM(Immunoglobulin M) – This occurs on the first exposure to a specific antigen and involved in primary responses.
There are several types of antibodies, and all have a specific role. The Ig Letters stand for 'Immunoglobulin.' Other letters with it say respective classes of antibodies. We use M, G, A, D, and E for this antibody classes.
Types of antibodies – immunoglobulin Protein and their usage

From these proteins, IgE(Immunoglobulin E) is doing a great job as others do. This IgE protein is in blood or organ resides on the surface of a cell called ‘Mast Cell.’ When the antigen or allergen reacts with Immunoglobulin E(IgE), present on the surface of the mast cell, many things happen. Firstly membrane ruptures. Secondly realizes the slow-reacting substance of a protease, anaphylaxis, heparin, and platelet-activating factors. Then chemicals like serotonin, histamine, eosinophil chemotactic substance are released.

As a result of these substances can cause to following things

  1. Chemotaxis (This means eosinophils and basophils attraction to the reactive site).
  2. Local muscle cells can cause contraction.
  3. Dilatation of local blood vessels.
  4. Local tissues can damage by protease.
  5. Capillaries permeability can be increase and loss of fluid into tissues.

According to the type of tissue, these process can be a reason for the manifestations of allergy in which allergen reagin reaction is taking place such as:

  1. As a result seasonal sneezing(hay fever) fluid exudation from the nasal mucous membrane.
  2. In cases of urticaria, skin can have swelling, redness, and irritation. These swellings are called ‘hives.’
  3. Spasm of the muscles of lung airways in asthma
  4. When an allergen is injected into circulation directly, it can ‘Widespread Anaphylaxis’ leading to shock.
  5. However, Urticaria, asthma, seasonal or perennial sneezing, hay fever, anaphylaxis and eczema all many diverse manifestations of one entity called ‘Allergy.’

Types of allergy manifestations and reactions

  • Fluid exudation in the nasal mucous membrane, sneezing – Hay fever
  • Severe shock / collapse – ‘Anaphylaxis.’
  • Spasm of lung muscles airways – Asthma
  • Irritation Swelling/Redness of skin – ‘Urticaria.’

When the person grows old allergy can change in its manifestation(in a person). Let’s Take a random man as an example. In his childhood, he can have eczema. He can develop sneezing when he becomes an adult. He can have both of these symptoms or can become asthmatic as he grows older. However, this may not change in its manifestation and may remain as it was. From generation to generation, allergy can inherit. When this happens, its expression may be different. For instance, a father can have asthma, and the son may have anaphylaxis.

Treatments for the Asthma

Avoid the allergen is the best treatment for this. This treatment not possible to relieve the symptoms, and the course of antihistamine tablets can prescribe. However, this course of tablets does not affect food allergy or asthma. Suffers who are allergic to some pollens or insect venom may be de-sensitized. Before we talk more, let's take a brief look at 'de-sensitization.'
Treatments For Asthma

Avoid the allergen is the best treatment for this. This treatment not possible to relieve the symptoms, and the course of antihistamine tablets can prescribe. However, this course of tablets does not affect food allergy or asthma. Suffers who are allergic to some pollens or insect venom may be de-sensitized. Before we talk more, let’s take a brief look at ‘de-sensitization.’ De-sensitization is the process of administering, increasing doses of the allergen to trick the immune system into producing antibodies that block the allergic reactions. This treatment successfully works for two out of three(2/3) suffers. But sometimes this treatment makes some side effects like swelling or itching. Now let’s look at a summary of all the things we’ve talked about so far.

A Classification of reactions

Typical Clinical Symptoms of allergy are very different. There are two(2) main types of allergic reactions

  1. Immediate kind of allergic reactions.
  2. Delayed type of allergic reactions.

Immediate type reactions

A characteristic property of all forms of immediate type of allergy is rapid development. A skin(cutaneous) allergic reaction of the immediate type begins within minutes following an Intracutaneous infection of allergen. This group of allergic reactions includes :

  1. Serum sickness
  2. Allergic bronchial asthma
  3. Anaphylaxis
  4. Urticaria
  5. Pollinosis(hay fever)
  6. Allergic reactions about hemorrhagic phenomena.

Delayed type reactions

In delayed-type reaction begins many hours after exposure to the allergen. This group of allergic reactions includes :

  1. Contact type reactions(contact dermatitis)
  2. Allergic reactions of graft rejection
  3. Tuberculin type reaction(bacterial allergy)
  4. Auto allergic or autoimmune reactions; this includes thyroiditis, encephalitis, myocarditis, orchitis, etc.
  5. Allergy reaction to purified protein be ns.T

ADO’s Pathogenic classification of allergic reactions has listed allergic reactions as local (organ, tissue) and systemic.

Summary

Summary of allergy and asthma
Summary of allergy
  1. Allergy is a reaction of the body to a harmless substance.
  2. House dust, pollens, drugs, food substance are all common allergens.
  3. Allergens trigger the production of antibodies in our bodies.
  4. Signs of an allergic reaction are different.
  5. Hay fever, asthma, urticaria are all allergic conditions.
  6. Avoiding the allergen, antihistamines, and desensitization is 3 (three) primary treatment modalities for allergies.