Management of allergy
Management of allergy in general includes avoidance of allergens, symptoms suppression and desensitisation:
Allergy covers a wide area in medical science from skin to gut. Allergic disorders includes asthma, bronchitis, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), chronic nasal allergies, conjunctivitis, eye allergies, skin allergy including eczema, urticaria, food allergies, diarrhoea,latex allergy, wasp and insect allergies, angioedema, drug allergies and anaphylaxis etc.
In general, the management of allergy includes the avoidance of the offending allergens and /or medical management. Although the avoidance is still the cornerstone of the treatment of allergy, often it is very difficult. One of the main reasons is an allergen could be anything and anywhere in the environment.
Detection of an allergen is vital for the management of allergy either for avoidance and/or medical management. Your doctors can give you some effective and up to date advices regarding how to avoid the allergens while it is identified. However, if the avoidance is successful still you might need to carry some emergency medication (e,g. Adrenaline Auto Injector) in order to deal with the accidental exposure to the allergen.Medical management includes pharmacotherapy and education to the patients and carer for example how to use an AAIs .
Avoidance: Allergens avoidance is still a recommended option for allergy management though research studies continues to investigate the role of exposure in the development of tolerance to the allergens. There are some strategies to avoid the specific allergens which your doctor can explain however, particularly in Bangladesh dump housing conditions in indoor and dust and exhausts in outdoor tends to have a high concentration of allergens for instance should be avoided.
The medical management includes the latest discovery of the disease modifying drugs ‘immunotherapy’ and 'Omalizumab'. However, the most commonly used medicine is Antihistamines and they can be purchased from pharmacy counter without any prescription. For better understanding the medicines used in treating allergy can be categorised as follows:
1. Antihistamines and leukotriene antagonist that block the activity of histamine and leukotriene which are released during allergic reactions.
2. Bronchodilators, decongestants and epinephrine which relax the airways of the lungs or shrink the congested tissue.
3. Anti-allergic drugs (sodium cromoglycate and nedocromil sodium) prevent the activation of cells that are taken part in the allergic reaction.
4. Corticosteroids: hold a more general action in reducing inflammatory symptoms.
5. Immunotherapy also called desensitisation: The most expensive and only disease modifying drug which teaches the immune system to get used to.
6. Omalizumab: It is a monoclonal antibody, which blocks a substance called IgE produced by the body.