Ten ways to avoid respiratory allergy

Avoid the accumulation of dust is one of the keys to prevent the emergence of problems such as allergic rhinitis and asthma

The colder seasons of the year may increase the risk of health problems for some people, especially of respiratory complications, such as rhinitis and asthma. At this time, agents that cause allergy — and that are responsible for triggering bouts of asthma and rhinitis — remain suspended in the air for longer due to the dry climate. Also contribute to the emergence of allergic abrupt climate change crisis, the increase in cases of flu and colds and mites that come from coats and blankets stored in closets for months.

Two out of every three Brazilians possess some type of allergy, according to the Brazilian Association of Allergy and Immunology (Asbai). The problem occurs when the body identifies as a threat substances which, in fact, are not disease causing. To attack them, the body generates an inflammatory process that produces excessive amounts of IgE type antibodies. With that, are flushed substances such as histamine, which causes itching, sneezing, shortness of breath and other typical signs of allergy.

Causes — the tendency of a person to present allergy is largely to genetic factor. “When the parents of a child are not allergic, she has only 15% risk of having the problem. Already parents have allergies, this percentage rises to 70%, “says Fabio Castro, medical Allergist and immunologist and President of Asbai.

Nevertheless, some measures may decrease the risk of children develop a lifelong allergy. One of them is to ensure breastfeeding. According to Ciro Kirchenchtejn, pulmonologist of the German Hospital Oswaldo Cruz, replace breast milk by the cow favors excessive production of IgE antibodies in the baby and therefore increases the propensity to allergic reactions. The doctor explains that prevent exposure of children up to one year by animals and other agents allergens also decreases the likelihood of them suffer problems such as asthma and rhinitis.

The agents can be various allergens. The most common are from household dust, which consists of Earth brought by wind and charged for shoes; dead skin that fall on people and animals; carpet fibers; by animals; fungal spores; and mites. The contact with these elements triggers the allergic process, which leads to the runny nose, cough and other symptoms. “In the case of strong smells, what happens is a mucosal irritation of the Airways, which already are damaged because of allergy”, explains Rogério Gastal Xavier, pulmonologist and professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).

Typically, people with allergies find that have the problem only after suffering early symptoms. Diagnosis is mainly clinical. In the case of asthma, is also held to spirometry, test that measures the amount of air that the patient is able to inhale and exhale.

Treatment — it is common that people use Nasal Decongestants during an allergic crisis. However, its use is recommended only if there is a medical prescription. The product, despite having momentary relief, can worsen the symptoms when the effect ends. “The decongestant is irritating to the nasal mucosa and may affect the Defense cells present in the nose,” says Gastal Xavier. In addition, it aggravates allergic rhinitis and creates dependency. In case of irritation and nasal secretion, the indication is to use saline, in moderate amounts.

The use of antihistamines is indicated to control and minimize the symptoms of allergy. There is also the possibility of treatment with vaccines, which consists in the implementation of the causative agent of allergy of the individual in increasing doses for a period that can range from one to three years. “The vaccine alleviates the symptoms of allergies. But this treatment is rarely used, since it takes years to terminate it, “explains Gastal Xavier.