Allergies Are So Annoying!

You know that time of year where you can’t help but sneeze about a zillion times a day. Yup, i’m talking about allergy season. Allergies are a pain and there is no question about that. Some people have worse allergies than others and it can almost be unbearable at times. I am someone who has extremely bad allergies and cannot stand it. Of course the most common cause of allergies is related to pollen but it got me thinking, what else causes a bad case of allergies?

According to Dr. Mercola, spring allergies affect an average of 25 million Americans. (This article was written in 2013 so the numbers might be different now but it is just a general representation how allergies affect people). As I previously mentioned pollen in the air is the most common cause for allergies. The reason why large amounts of pollen may be present in certain years compared to others is because of the pollen’s early arrival after mild winters. When the arrival of pollen happens early following mild winters, there is more pollen in the air and allergy seasons tend to last longer. While there is a correlation between pollen and allergies, pollen is NOT the only cause of allergies. As we know, correlation does not equal causation.

This is a picture I got from http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/allergybegone/pollen-count.gif. It generally represents amounts of pollen in areas of the U.S.

This is a picture I got from http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/allergybegone/pollen-count.gif. It generally represents amounts of pollen in areas of the U.S.

Our immune systems basically work to target unhealthy and uncommon bacteria and get rid of them. To learn more about how our immune systems work in causing allergies go here. When it targets a harmless environmental protein called an allergen, this is how allergies occur. The immune system then sends out a protective substance called immunoblobulin E (IgE) antibodies to target and fight the allergens. Everybody has these IgE antibodies in them, but people who experience worse allergies than others more amounts in their body. Therefore, there is more going on as far as targeting and attacking these allergens in a person’s body with allergies. We also have these cells called mast cells in our body that play a role in causing allergies, more specifically allergic reactions. These mast cells send chemicals into the blood and tissues of our body and it is one chemical in particular called histamine that causes the problem. The chemicals that are sent cause itching and swelling, and can be very irritating. Also, they cause some fluid to leak from our cells and all of these play into why we itch and scratch so much during an allergic reaction.

Of course allergic reactions can become very serious leading to tightening of the throat and loss of voice which is also because of these chemicals. My overall take from this research is that pollen is a very popular cause for allergies to occur, but a lot more goes on than we think. I never really though about how much our body goes through to cause something as “simple” as allergies. There are many more factors and confounding variables that play a part in causing allergies, that most people do not really think about.

Do you guys think all these factors play a legitimate role or it’s just something as simple as pollen that causes allergies?

5 thoughts on “Allergies Are So Annoying!

  1. czc5448 Post author

    Those are very interesting points that you guys bring up about locations. Based on where you are at the time, your allergies vary. I think that has a lot to do with pollen count in that certain city and emphasizes the correlation between pollen count and allergies. I have never really noticed a change in allergies correlated to location because I have always had bad allergies no matter what around the same time of year. You guys mention an important factor of location that I did not even think about.

  2. Stephanie Michelle Friedman

    I think a lot of things cause allergies considering people are allergic to a wide variety of things. That being said, I still thing pollen is a huge factor in the allergy field. Where I am from pollen rates are always extremely high and I feel like I am dying every fall and spring since I am extremely allergic. It’s amazing how our body shows us they don’t like something going on in our body with their reactions. Since people are allergic to a wide variety of things it could be more active in one place rather than another which is why they seem to flare up. I am interested to see how my allergies will be here when the spring arrives compared to Chicago.

  3. Maddie Panzeri

    Ug I hate allergies! I never got seasonal alleges until high school and my younger sister is the same. But I notice that my allergies are different- from here, to where I live now, to where I grew up in Maryland. Its awful!!
    Pollen forecast for State College<a7

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