You’re not the only one wondering how does allergies work. A lot of people are asking the same question, and for good reason – allergies can be quite annoying to deal with.
Regardless of whatever it is that you’re allergic with, the symptoms are pretty much universal. Itchy skin, a scratchy-feeling in your throat, a runny nose, watery eyes, and in worse cases, the so-called “brain fog” phenomenon where you feel like you’re in a dream-like state.
But, while we all know what happens when we have allergies, most of us don’t really know why exactly it happens and how it works.
Your Immune System
We all learned in elementary school biology that the immune system’s job is to protect our bodies from foreign objects and invaders.
Our immune system employs a number of cells to do its job and an important part of the immune system is its ability to separate which foreign bodies are good for you and which are harmful. But, sometimes, the immune system doesn’t work as intended, which is often the cause when you have an allergic reaction.
What Happens When You Have Allergies
Originating from a Greek word which translates to “other work”, allergies are basically your immune system overreacting to what should be considered a relatively harmless object that enters your body. This can be dust in the air, pollen, pet dander, a certain particular smell or scent, dust mites, or even a type of food.
Ideally, our immune system should be able to separate the harmful foreign materials from the harmless ones. Unfortunately, the immune of allergy-sufferers often get these things mixed. This is why, what could be considered as harmless for other people can cause an allergic reaction in others. As a result, the immune system responds by creating antibodies to attack the “harmful” allergen, and immune system will keep on doing the same thing every time you find yourself exposed to whatever it is that you are allergic to.
This process involves releasing histamines to the human body, which is responsible for the classic allergy symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezy, and more.
What Can I Do About My Allergies?
There are actually plenty of things that you can do to address your allergy symptoms.
For example, doing some much-needed spring cleaning might be necessary. Dust, dirt, grime, molds, and other airborne particles are partly responsible for allergies. The same goes for dust mites, which can be found in the millions on your mattress.
Some deep cleaning and some preventative maintenance can go a long way in making sure that your house, or room, doesn’t become a cesspool for allergens.
You can also take antihistamines to help curb symptoms and make your allergies more manageable. You can ask your physician for help to prescribe you the right antihistamine medication for your daily needs.
Other things that you can do is to use HVAC filters, an air purifier, wear a mask while you’re outside, or, if your allergies are severely impacting your daily life already, you can take allergy shots to help minimize breakouts and make them less severe.