Bless you. Gesundheit. Salud. Á tes souhaits. Morgen mooi weer. However you say it, it’s sneezing season.
With warm weather settling in and snow blues in our rearview mirror, those of us with seasonal allergies are feeling a little foggy. Pollination is making us weepy-eyed, but not in a good “that movie had a beautiful ending” way.
Allergies – whether outdoor like pollen or indoor like dust, mold, pet dander – are stimulants that trigger an immune system response. The antibodies produced attach to allergens and travel to cells throughout your body, mostly in your nose and nasal membranes. The antibodies then secrete chemicals – including histamine – that cause what we know as the allergic response.
Histamine works in two ways: it constricts your airway and expands nasal vessels, a 1-2 punch that makes breathing very difficult and often irritating.
Runny nose, nasal pressure, blurred vision? Queue the anti-histamines.
The class of over-the-counter and prescription drugs known as antihistamines treat allergies by targeting the histamine receptors in your body. They can block the incoming signals and prevent the allergic response caused by stimulants.
The chemistry of these medications is custom to the types of allergies and responses, so seasonal outdoor allergies are treated differently from food allergies and intolerances.
In addition to medications, cleaning products can safely and effectively remove contaminants to control common indoor allergies, such as dust, mold and pet dander.
If you’re suffering from spring allergies, rest assured that chemistry is making innovations in healthcare every day to help you live healthier. Learn more on chemistrymatters.com.