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Seasonal Allergens

In Austin many people suffer from seasonal allergies which are triggered by mold spores and pollen grains mainly during spring and fall. Mold spores are responsible for causing seasonal allergic rhinitis also known as hay fever. Molds did not have a specific bloomy seasons but their presence in the air is affect by weather conditions such as rain, temperature, humidity and wind.

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There numbers increase during warm humid summer months and reach their peak during fall. O the other hand pollen grains have specific pollination period usually depending on the origin of the plant.

When allergen substances and pollen grains enter the body, they cause the immune system to respond through an allergic reaction. During seasonal allergens people who are allergy sufferers should be encouraged to avoid the allergens by staying indoors. Allergy sufferers should learn to avoid early morning outdoor activities mainly because this is when pollen grains are being transferred from one tree to another. Pollen Allergy Pollens grains are protective sacks that certain male gametes that are necessary for plant fertilization.

During pollination time, these male gametes are transferred to female plant for fertilization. Wind loving plants now rely on the wind to transfer their pollens grains. This is the main cause of allergic problems because the pollen grains of wind loving plant are very light in weight and air borne particles. In Austin, Texas trees like oak and elm pollinate during spring and therefore cause seasonal allergies in early spring. Ragweed plant is disastrous to allergy sufferers because it pollinates from mid August to October.

The pollen grains of this plant are very light weight and can travel to a distance of 400 miles from the plant. Mold allergy Micro-scoping mold spores are present all year round floating in the air just like pollen grains, but they peak during summer and fall. Mold air borne allergies are both found indoors and outdoors and include cladosporium and aspergillus. The most common sign of these season allergens are sore throat, itchiness, running nose, sneezing and congestion. During seasonal allergic periods, pollen grain and mold spores are very high and they stick on clothing, hair, skin and pets.

Pollen grain transfer usually takes place during the early morning period Cedar fever Cedar fever is also referred to as mountain cedar allergy which seasonally starts from December all the way to February. This allergy is caused by the mountain cedar tree and tree of the cypress family. The mountain cedar tree grows naturally to a maximum of 30 feet. It is an evergreen tree which the most allergenic tree in Austin Texas. The tree has both male and female plants and it pollinates from October to May. During this period, the male plant transfers its pollen grain to the female plant.

This occurs mainly during the windy seasons when the branches of this tree are disturbed and its pollen grains appear like smoke in the air. Oak allergy Oak trees shed allergen amount of pollen grains starting from February to late May. The sufferers of oak allergy usually reach the peak of their symptoms during mid April. Oak tree allergies can range from moderate to severe allergic reaction. Austin has a great diversity of oak tree are yellowish in colour will stick on house roofs, cars and outdoor furniture’s. Seasonal allergens

Austin is rated among the top five worst places hit by allergies. It has three unique pollen seasons which occur during the Fall, the Spring and Winter. In the Fall, the ragweed plant and other weed are responsible for releasing their pollen grains usually from mid August all the way to early November. In Austin, this season last for a long period than in any other part of the country. During the Spring, the oak tree, Elm and Ash trees transfer their pollen grains starting from February to early June. In the winter, the mountain cedar tree releases its pollen from December up to February.

Pollen counts from the central Texas are the highest pollen counts of any type of plant in the world. During days of high cedar pollen counts, people who are allergic to cedar cannot go outdoors without having serious allergenic symptoms. (Guyton, AC, and Hall, JE, 2006). Scientific review of human allergies Abstract Allergies are disorders of the immune systems that occur as a reaction to environmental substances. An allergic response also known as immediate hypersensitivity is characterized by excessive activation of mast cell by immunoglobulin E.

Allergic responses can be divided into two pathophysiological phases including the acute response and the late-phase response. The acute or immediate response occurs immediately after being exposed to a particular allergen. Allergic responses consist of primary responses and secondary responses. A primary immune response occurs after a first encounter with an antigen. Human allergies have two major risk factors which include environmental and host factors. Host factors include age, heredity and race while environmental factors vary from exposure to infectious diseases, dietary changes, allergen counts and environmental pollution.

Allergic symptoms could be moderate or severe depending on the immune system of the affected person. Human allergies Scientific research studies suggest that allergies are the fifth leading chronic disease and affect more than 50 million people in the United States. There are various types of allergies ranging from allergic rhinitis to food allergy. Allergic rhinitis causes swelling of the nasal mucosa and respiratory discomfort such as running nose and sneezing. Skin allergies cause blisters and itchy rashes that rise from touching allergic substances.

Allergy swelling can cause swallowing difficulties. Anaphylactic allergies cause severe symptoms such as bronchoconstiction, skin reaction and sometimes lead to death. Scientific studies show that children who have allergic parents have a higher likelihood of developing similar allergies. The human’s immune systems is developed in such a manner that it can detect a foreign organism in the body. If a foreign substance such as pollen is identified the body defence mechanism came into action to fight the foreign substance. The body produces immunoglobulin E to fight the detected foreign organism.

(Leznoff. A. , (1999). Allergic symptoms usually occur when a sensitive person is exposed to a substance that could be harmless to other normal people. Allergic symptoms are mainly inherited but could also develop at any age depending on the time of exposure to allergens. There are three major categories of allergens including inhalants such as pollens, mold and dust. The other categories are ingestions and injected substances such as drug, beverages and vaccines. Allergies are disorders of the immune systems that occur as a reaction to environmental substances.

An allergic response also known as immediate hypersensitivity is characterized by excessive activation of mast cell by immunoglobulin E. most allergic substances are airborne particles especially dust and pollen grains. Hay fever is an allergic reaction that occurs in response to airborne pollen and it causes sneezing, irritation of the nose and the redness of the eyes. Inhaled pollen grains could also cause asthmatic symptoms trough bronchoconstriction, shortness of breathe, wheezing and excessive production of mucus in the lungs.

Allergic reactions can also result from food, medication and insect bites. Food allergies may cause symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pains, swelling of the skin or diarrhea. Insect bites and medication cause a systematic response that is also known as anaphylaxis which affects multiple systems of the body. Human allergies have two major risk factors which include environmental and host factors. Host factors include age, heredity and race while environmental factors vary from exposure to infectious diseases, dietary changes, allergen counts and environmental pollution. (http://www.

setel. com/~allergy/Products/allergy) Seasonal allergy responses and how human health is affected Abstract Seasonal allergens have very adverse reactions on different people depending on the type of allergen and the immune system of each individual. Seasonal allergies could interfere with a person’s ability to perform their daily duties. In the United States, up to 35million people suffer from seasonal allergies and as a result, an average of 4 million workdays are lost each year. A majority of allergy sufferers have reported that they have difficulty sleeping or working effectively.

Seasonal allergic responses During seasonal allergens people who are allergy sufferers should be encouraged to avoid the allergens by staying indoors. This method is effective when they limit outdoor activities especially when the pollen counts are at their peak. If one cannot afford going outdoors, they must take a shower and change clothes immediately after, because pollen grains stick to hair, clothing and skin. Allergy sufferers should learn to avoid early morning outdoor activities mainly because this is when pollen grains are being transferred from one tree to another.

In cases where one must work outdoor, they should wear a dust and pollen mask that helps to prevent inhaling pollen grains, mold spores and dust. Allergy sufferers could respond to seasonal allergens through immunotherapy, whereby they get allergy vaccines which lead to reduction in allergic symptoms. After taking shots for a period of 3 to 5 years, allergy sufferers experience reduced symptoms and thus need less medication. Allergy shots are more effective for inhalants and insect bite allergies. other people can respond to allergens by taking medication to control the allergic symptoms.

The common types of medication used include lung inhalers, nasal sprays and oral medication. Allergic symptoms could be moderate or severe depending on the immune system of the affected person. Allergies are overreactions of the immune system to foreign substances such as pollen grains, peanuts, insect bites and certain medications. Allergic symptoms usually include sneezing, running nose, itching, skin rashes and wheezing. On many occasions allergic reactions could lead to asthma, which occurs when the airways are temporarily blocked or even narrowed due to exposure to certain allergens.

Symptoms of an asthma attack mainly include difficulty breathing, wheezing, shortness of breathe or coughing. (http://allergies. about. com/od/alternatives/Alternative_Allergy_Treatment_Options. htm) Allergic responses Allergic responses can be divided into two pathophysiological phases including the acute response and the late-phase response. The acute or immediate response occurs immediately after being exposed to a particular allergen. Allergic responses consist of primary responses and secondary responses. A primary immune response occurs after a first encounter with an antigen.

This type of response is small and has a long induction phase. On the other hand, secondary responses occur after a second exposure to a particular antigen. The acute allergic response occurs within minutes following an allergen exposure caused by the release of histamine and mast cell granules. This acute allergic response is referred to as type 1 allergic reaction. The type 1V allergic reaction may occur within a period of 6 hours to 12 hours after an exposure to an allergen. On detecting a foreign substance in the body, the immune system reacts to the antigen in two responses which include cellular response and antibody response.

In cellular response, the immune system produces special white blood cells which are referred to as T lymphocytes, which have the capability of binding to the foreign antigens and destroying them. In the antibody response, the immune system reacts by producing and releasing blood proteins known as antibodies into the bloodstream. (Levinson, W. , (2004). When allergen substances and pollen grains enter the body, they cause the immune system to respond through an allergic reaction. The immune system produces antibodies which have mast cells attached to them.

These antibodies bind to the allergen substances either on the skin, in the nose or in the respiratory system. On binding with allergens, mast cells become activated and release histamine, a substance that produces most of the symptoms associated with allergic reactions. The symptoms include wheezing, itching, sneezing and nasal congestions. Although these symptoms are meant to assist the body in fighting off the foreign substances, they could sometimes be very severe and fatal on some people. References Allergies, (2006a), Alternative Allergy Treatment Options, [Online], retrieved from Internet on 10 January 2007, http://allergies.

about. com/od/alternatives/Alternative_Allergy_Treatment_Options. htm Allergy, (2006), What is Allergy, [Online], retrieved from Internet on 10 January 2007, http://www. setel. com/~allergy/Products/allergy Guyton, AC, and Hall, JE, (2006), Textbook of Medical Physiology-11th Edition, Published by Elsevier, Pa. , ISBN 13-81-8147-920-3 Levinson, W. , (2004), Medical Microbiology & Immunology, 8th Edition, McGraw Hill Companies, ISBN 0-07-143199-3 Leznoff. A. , (1999), Provocative challenges in patients with multiple chemical sensitivity, J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997 Apr; 99 (4):438-42