Allergy is an extremely abnormal reaction of our body's immune system to some non-harmful substances (allergens) in our environment. Our immune system creates various responses to protect our body against foreign and harmful substances in our environment and entering our body through the mouth, nose and skin. With these reactions, immune system cells eliminate harmful substances or prevent them from entering the body. In allergies, the immune system creates an extreme reaction to substances that are not normally harmful to the body.
While skin and blood tests are used for diagnosis in Liv Hospital Allergy Clinic, in addition to preventive measures and medications in treatment, immunotherapy (allergy vaccine treatment) subcutaneous (subcutaneous injection) sublingual (sublingual vaccination) is applied on suitable patients.
Substances that form specific antibodies against themselves in the organism are called antigens. If this antigen develops an allergic condition then the antigen is called an allergen. Allergens are normally harmless substances for most people, but they cause allergic diseases in people with atopic, ie prone to allergy development. Allergic diseases are chronic diseases that develop with the combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. They are not infected from person to person and are not transported. With the combination of genetic predisposition and environmental allergen, firstly a sensitivity occurs in the body. As a result of this sensitivity, the immune system secretes an antibody called IgE. This antibody disperses through the bloodstream and attaches to the immune system cells. If the allergen enters the body again, it immediately recognizes the allergen and gives a very severe reaction. During this reaction, thousands of substances secreted from the immune system create an abnormally severe allergic response in the organ affected by the allergen.
There may be a genetic predisposition
• Grass and tree pollens
The most common allergens
• House dust mites
• Skin or hair of pets
• Fungus or mold spores
• Various foods (Milk, eggs, soy, seafood, fruit and dried fruits)
• Bee stings
• Some medications
• Chemical resins, rubber, nickel
Symptoms vary according to the type and severity of the disease and the age and gender of the patient.
What are the symptoms of allergic diseases?
- Allergic sinusitis; There are sneezing, itching in the nose, runny nose, nasal congestion in certain months of the year or throughout the year in nasal and eye conjunctivitis. There may be postnasal drip, sore throat, tearing in the eyes, redness and itching, fullness in the ears, rustling, itching, headache and earache, olfactory disorder, loss of taste, change in voice.
- In asthma; person may experience shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, chest congestion. It is very typical for these complaints to appear suddenly and in the form of crises, to improve spontaneously or with treatment after a while, to recur, and to wake you up at night.
- In skin allergies; Itching, swelling, red-colored rashes, watering, crusting, skin thickening and skin discoloration can be seen on the skin.
- Gastric, intestinal tract allergies; There may be complaints such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, growth retardation, weakness due to anemia, pallor, swelling of the eyelids and legs.
- In angioneurotic edema and anaphylaxis; Depending on the severity of the condition at varying degrees, sudden swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, congestion, pale skin, redness, itching and swelling, rashes, shortness of breath, wheezing, drop in blood pressure, fever, sweating, palpitation, heart rhythm disorder, bruising, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, convulsions, respiratory arrest and death may occur.
Although the mechanisms that initiate the allergy are generally the same, clinical problems occur depending on the affected organ.
The most common allergy problems
• Skin urticaria
• Angioedema (fluid accumulation in the lower layers of the skin, ie edema), usually in the face, eyelids, lips and genital area
• Redness and itching in the eyes
• Itchy nose, nasal congestion or runny nose, and sneezing
• Difficulty breathing in the lower respiratory tract, wheezing, cough
• Palpitations in the cardiovascular system, low blood pressure
• Nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps in the gastrointestinal tract
• Somnolence on Nervous system, fainting
Although rare, these findings of all systems can be seen together and are called anaphylaxis. It is the most severe form of allergic reactions.
Skin test (Prick test) and blood test are used for diagnosis. In the skin test, the most common allergens are used and the skin reaction of the person is measured; in the blood test, the level of the IgE antibody formed by the body in the blood and if there are allergic symptoms to a certain substance or substances, the specific IgE level is measured.
How is it diagnosed?
• Respiratory function tests
What tests are used to diagnose allergies and asthma?
• Pulmonary function tests with medication
• Helium diffusion pulmonary function tests
• Allergy skin tests (Prick test)
• Checking the allergen-specific IgE in the blood
• Molecular allergy test