Allergies Causes & Risk Factors

Allergies Causes & Risk Factors

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Cytokines -- small proteins that influence immune response, although their role in allergic inflammation is difficult to pin down -- are made not only in immune system cells called mast cells and basophils but also in practically any cell directly or indirectly involved in the allergic response. To complicate things still further, they can cause inflammation or can be anti-inflammatory.

    The development of new medications that interfere with the action of cytokines is the focus of current research.
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    If other members of your family have allergies, you are at a higher risk for having allergies yourself. Likewise, if you have one type of allergy, you have an increased risk of having another allergy-so if you have hay fever, you have a higher risk of developing a food allergy. In addition, increased exposure to certain allergens can raise your risk for developing an allergy: health care workers, for example, are more likely to develop an allergy to latex.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    An allergy is an overreaction by the immune system to some type of allergen that the body is exposed to.

    When that invader enters the body, often through the nose, the body tries to protect itself by producing those antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). That sets off a chain reaction in which IgE sends a signal to allergy cells (mast cells) to release chemicals that fight the allergen. When those chemicals (some are called histamines; others belong to the cytokine system) are released into the bloodstream, they produce inflammatory reactions throughout the body, not just at the site of invasion. It's those reactions that trigger the itchy eyes, the runny nose, the hives, etc.
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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    Something in your physical surroundings may act as an irritant that triggers an allergic reaction or asthmatic symtoms in susceptible workers.  Of course, some professions have a higher risk of possible exposure to allergic or asthmatic triggers than others.  Although there can be plenty of dust in the offices of people in white-collar occupations, dust mites can also annoy warehouse, maintenance and construction workers.  Still, dust can come in many forms:  wood dust may be troublesome to carpenters and woodworkers, and food dust from flour could irk bakers, pastry chefs and pizza makers.  Seasonal pollen allergies can be a real nuisance to those who work outdoors as landscapers, postal carriers or on highway maintenance crews.  Any number of jobs at manufacturing plants or refineries can cause employees to regularly breathe in chemical vapors that may bother nasal and lung passageways.  According to the World Health Organization, workplace exposure to fumes, gases or dust are responsible for 11% of asthma cases worldwide. And some estimates suggest that roughly 20% of new cases of asthma in adults are work related. Compared to your surroundings at home, you have less control over the work environment which includes the ventilation system, the location where you work, how often it gets cleaned, the temperature and humidity and even the materials used on te job. These factors can influence your risk of work-related reactions.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Every time you open and close your refrigerator, mold spores that have collected in the door seal are released into the air. As spilled liquids and food crumbs find their way into the crevices of this rarely cleaned germ-zone, mold begins to grow, flourish and trigger your allergies. You can kill these mold spores and relieve your symptoms with a weekly cleaning. For best results, wipe the seal down with eco-friendly bleach, using cotton swabs to get into the crevices where food, mold and dust collect.
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    It is estimated that up to one half of those who suffer with seasonal allergies to pesky tree, grass and weed pollens each year may succumb to "oral allergy syndrome". That's right! Due to a "cross-reaction" between proteins in fresh fruit, some vegetables, nuts (including hazelnut and almond which may be found in coffee beverages) and even spices, the immune system believes it may be under attack.

    The verdict may be "oral allergy symptoms" such as tingling, itchiness of the lips, tongue, mouth and even throat after the ingestion of a various foods that trigger localized, largely mild, oral symptoms.

    The good news is that in many cases, when possible, simply peeling or cooking the fresh fruits can "knock out" the proteins responsible for these common and annoying symptoms that may also aggravate seasonal allergy symptoms. In many allergy sufferers this condition is chiefly manifested during the pollen season.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Allergies seem to be becoming more common. Part of this is due to changes in the way we live. We live in homes that are sealed to trap heat in the winter and cool conditioned air in the summer. We have wall-to-wall carpeting and throw rugs on our floors. But this comfortable and energy-conscious approach creates an environment in which dust mites thrive. Energy efficiency means that there is less fresh air from outside being exchanged with stale air indoors, which means that dust builds up inside. Carpeting may be comfortable to walk on, insulating, and attractive, but stuff that settles in it is fodder for dust mites, and their waste is highly allergenic.

    In a sense, allergy is a price we have paid for progress. Part of the body's defenses, the immune system, evolved to help us fight off parasites when our ancestors had very little ability to influence either their environment or their diet. Now that we do have such power, that mechanism has gone haywire.

    Because of modern sanitation, climate control, and immunization, many of the original problems the immune system evolved to combat no longer exist routinely in advanced industrial countries like ours. However, the defenses are still within us. Like soldiers demobilized at the end of a war, they need time to adjust after the fighting stops, but in the case of immunity that has evolved over eons, the adjustment hasn't begun. Idle hands make the devil's work. These are defenses in search of an enemy, and they spend their time attacking all kinds of things -- molds, pollens, chemicals used in the construction of our homes -- and in the process of attacking those irritants, they throw off toxins that make us sick.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    The mast cell, a type of immune system cell, is present in all tissue in greater or lesser concentrations. Upon initial exposure to an allergen, or antigen (remember that you don't become allergic the first time you encounter these substances), antibodies attach themselves by the thousands to the receptors of the mast cell. The "claws" of the IgE antibodies stick out, and work in pairs. They look something like lobster claws. The allergens fit between the "claws," forming a bridge, and when they do, the allergic attack begins. The mast cell swells up and bursts and mediators are released.

    Without medical intervention, the mast cell uses all the weapons in its arsenal, and alerts other cells, such as eosinophils, to show up and do their work. It's as if a home burglar alarm went off and the police responded without stopping to figure out whether the cat tripped the alarm or Public Enemy Number One was holed up inside. The police might show up and burst in the front door, or they might break it down, or they might enter with tear gas and guns blazing.
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    This sun allergy is rare. People experiencing it often break out in raised, painful hives across their exposed skin.
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    Sick of work? Many of us joke that we are. But some people literally become sick at their workplace, suffering from a condition called "sick building syndrome."

    Why does this happen? Well, in an effort to cut costs and be eco-friendly through energy conservation, modern office buildings are built as tight as tombs, quite often with inadequate fresh air circulation. Therefore, allergens and irritants fill the air but have no place to go once they get in. Carpet-cleaning solvents leave irritating chemical residues. Particles in the air, like fiberglass, bother the eyes. Mold spores, freely circulating in moist, continually running air-conditioning units, irritate sensitive noses. And, if your co-workers have pets at their home, there might even be some animal dander floating freely in the atmosphere.