Defence in the body
If the preventative measures are not controlling your symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis then it may be necessary to take medication. Effective medications that can be prescribed by a physician include antihistamines, decongestants such as anti-inflammatories, bronchodilators, anticholinergics, corticosteroids, Cromones and Leukotriene receptor antagonists.
Antihistamines counteract the effect of histamine, which is released by the mast cells and basophils in the body's tissues. This causes vasodilation of the blood vessels leading to allergy symptoms such as sneezing and itching in the nose, throat, and eyes. Antihistamines in this case help relieve the histamine-induced symptoms mentioned. Examples of Antihistamines are loratadine, cetirizine, chlorphenamine. These all contain the common chemical sodium cromoglicate and may come in the form of tablets, nasal sprays and eye drops.
A patient should always let the doctor know what other medications he/she is taking as antihistamines if taken with certain other drugs can have serious side effects.
Decongestants are a broad class of medications used to relieve nasal congestion. They generally work by reducing swelling of the mucous membranes in the nasal passages by triggering vasoconstriction allowing the trapped mucus to drain from your nose. This makes it easier to breathe. Decongestants can be taken either of two ways; by mouth (oral preparation), or as a nasal spray applied directly into the nose (topical preparation).
The most common decongestants found in many cough and allergy preparations are Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine and Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) .
Anti-inflammatories help reduce airway inflammation and decrease mucus production which may also help when relieving allergy symptoms. Examples of anti-inflammatories are Opticrom Allergy eye drops and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin , Ibuprofen , Oxaprozin and etc.
Bronchodilators are prescription medications which relax constricted or tightened airways. When the smooth muscles relax, the airways dilate (widen), making it easier to breathe and getting rid of mucous. Short acting inhaled brondilators include Salbutamol (Ventolin) and Terbutaline (Bricanyl). Long-acting bronchodilators include Salmeterol (Serevent).
Corticosteroids can be taken in a number of ways; by injection, orally (in tablet form), via an inhaler or it can be applied as a topical cream or ointment. They are powerful drugs that can quickly reduce inflammation and pain. However they have a number of side effects and should be used with caution
Intravenous Desensitisation in Allergy, also known as allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) has been identified as a specific treatment for people who have only one allergy. The procedure of desensitisation uses allergen-specific regulatory T cells which are injected into the patient; these are then assumed to suppress effector T cells directly mediating allergic inflammation. Although this type of medication is useful it will only suppress symptoms but do little to modify the long-term disease process.
Defense around the home
Many of those affected by allergies can be broken down into two distinct groups, seasonal (those affected by pollen and plants) and indoor allergies. Those suffering from either category can benefit from increased air circulation in the home or place of business. They should also keep their environment air conditioned and maintained at low humidity with the windows closed whenever possible. The following appliances may help in the process of alleviating or reducing the reaction caused by pet dander:
Air conditioning units can help in the reduction of allergies as they draw in the warm air from the surroundings which is filtered and cooled before it is released back into your environment. This ensures that the temperature within the room is cool and allergen free. Click to read a more in depth review of our air conditioners
Vacuums which are equipped with a HEPA air filter should be used as they avoid an increase in airborne allergen levels and keep dust mite levels to a minimum.
Air purifiers help reduce the levels of airborne allergens by passing ambient air through a special filtration system which gets rid of 99% or more of airborne allergens. For example the Blueair air purifier, filters 99.97% of particles down to 0.01 microns. It is also whisper silent and offers complete air exchange every 11 minutes in areas up to 52 square metres. This award winning Swedish design is on permanent display in the National Museum of Sweden. It is also great for night time or those sensitive to noise, the 501 is economical to run and has very quick change filters.
Steam cleaners also help in reducing allergens as they eradicate, kill and sanitise dust mites and their eggs, mould spores, germs and viruses. The Allergymatters SteamBee Vac and Detergent allows you to loosen deep down dirt, whilst the vacuum sucks it all up. This machine also allows you to add an eco-friendly detergent to loosen any stubborn stains. Alternatively if you are an allergy sufferer you can add our Allergymatters anti-allergen spray to completely free your home of potentially harmful allergens allowing you to relax in peace in a clean and fresh environment.
By following the steps above, pet allergy sufferers can best live a life free of the dreaded sneezing, itching, coughing, red and puffy eyes associated with allergies - and start enjoying life to the fullest.