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Allergic Rhinitis and Its Causes
Allergic rhinitis is an atopic disease, which is inherited from parents. If both of your parents have allergic rhinitis or other respiratory diseases such as asthma, tuberculosis, and emphysema, the probability of having such respiratory diseases is 50%. If one of your parents has respiratory diseases, the probability of inheriting their diseases is 25%. If both parents do not have any respiratory diseases, your chances of having respiratory diseases are less than 12.5%. Sometimes, what happens during pregnancy can cause allergic rhinitis in the newborn. The mother’s immune system during pregnancy can cause the newborn to have allergic rhinitis. Pregnant mothers who smoke, drink coffee and alcohol often have a poor immune status, which can also cause the newborn to have allergic rhinitis or other respiratory diseases. This is because all these actions can cause a high IgE antibody level in umbilical blood. Apart from that, using a bottle to feed the baby, exposure to various foods and early exposure to certain organs and dirt can cause nasal allergies in the newborn.
Allergic rhinitis symptoms change with age. In the earlier stage, children are most sensitive to seasonal allergies. After they grow up, they tend to be more prone to allergies. Therefore, after they have overcome the symptoms caused by seasonal allergies, they may still have symptoms due to seasonal allergies. As children get older, they may have a higher risk of developing bronchial hyperreactivity and asthma. 17 to 19% of them will develop asthma later in life. To protect them from having asthma, perennial immunotherapy should be used in the early stage. Furthermore, the risk of asthma does not depend on the age when allergic rhinitis begins, family history of atopic disease, sex, severity of symptoms at the time of onset and treatment.
Allergic rhinitis begins when each atopic encounters antigens that are able to activate the IgE response. So, what are the things you can do as allergies? Allergens are usually airborne particles, which have a molecular weight ranging from 30 to 40,000 daltons and with a diameter ranging from 2 to 60 µm. Most of them have a diameter of more than 15 µm, which can be placed on the nose, pharyngeal and eye. Chemically, these particles are proteins, which bind to a small part of the carbohydrate. Particles with these characters are pollen, acarids, animal dandruff and fungi.
Pollen released from grasses, weeds and trees during the breeding season often causes seasonal allergic rhinitis. Only light pollen that can be pollinated by the wind can be in the air and cause a high natural reaction to the allergic rhinitis patient. The importance depends on the concentration of pollen in the air. An individual with allergic rhinitis who lives in a rural area will be significantly affected by these seasonal pollens compared to someone who lives in the city. Ambient temperature also affects the concentration of pollen in the air. Usually, in a warmer environment, plants release more pollen compared to a cooler environment. Most plants grow in late spring and summer which is the warmest season. Windy weather will cause pollens to circulate in the air and this will cause the allergic rhinitis patient to be more prone. The best day is rainy day. Rainwater can wash away all the pollen in the air and bring them down to the ground. The local air will become fresh and clean after rain.
A major cause of seasonal nasal allergies is house dust mites. Common acarids in house dust are Dermatophagoides pteronyssimus and farinae, Euroglyphus maynei and Blomia tropicalis. The substances that are directly responsible for nasal allergy from these dust mites are themselves and their byproducts. Usually, mites grow faster in humid and warm weather. Therefore, sensitivity to acarids depends on where you actually live. Nasal allergies for patients living in tropical and equatorial regions have the highest possible causes by acarids because these areas in the climate promote the development of mites. Dust mites grow in maximum concentration when the ambient humidity level is between 70 to 80% and with the presence of high temperature. Nasal allergy symptoms will develop when the dust mite concentration level reaches 2 µg/g in the air. In contrast, in the highlands with a dry and humid climate there is the lowest level of dust mites because this climate prevents mite growth. Animals are another source of aeroallergens. These aeroallergens are found in animal saliva, saliva, urine and dandruff. Therefore, nasal allergy can be caused by domestic animals such as cats and dogs and even wild rats and mice.
Air pollutants increase the sensitivity of nasal allergy by allergens. Air pollution can be divided into two groups which are outdoor pollution, which is released from industrial activities, car exhaust and home heating, and indoor pollution such as tobacco smoke, furniture, wood and burning fire and heat. Chemically, air pollutants include oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and black smoke. How air pollutants increase the sensitivity of nasal allergies is not completely clear. This may be because air pollutants easily irritate the respiratory mucosa and make it more susceptible to allergic reactions. Air pollution has a negative effect on the nasal epithelium and ciliary beat, which is responsible for the elimination of allergens. Also, some pollutants can cause the release of mediators that cause injury such as histamine, prostaglandins and leukotriene C-4.
Apart from that, some pollutants can also increase the production of IgE antibody directly. When an allergen binds two IgE molecules on mast and basophil surface cells, the first chemical mediator; histamine, will be released and will cause nasal allergy. Therefore, we can confirm that allergens can easily enter our blood stream through our nasal mucosal membrane if we have chronic inflammation, insufficient IgA antibody, ciliary beating is damaged and with air pollutants around us. IgA antibody is very important to our body because it prevents allergens from entering our nasal mucosal layer. Monounsaturated oleic acids, which can be found in cold-pressed extra virgin olive and coconut oil, hazelnut or filbert oil (or whole fruit), green and ripe olives, and almonds can increase the IgA antibody in our body. Besides oleic acids, vitamin A can also increase IgA antibody, which can be found in cod liver oil, pumpkin, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes/yam, squash and other yellow or orange green vegetables.
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