Hypersensitivity is caused by excessive, damaging, and at times fatal reactions generated by the immune system. Medically, it is known as hypersensitivity reaction. With this ailment, the immune system fails to be effective and targets some proteins in an unpredictable manner.
Type I - Immediate hypersensitivity:
Immediate hypersensitivity usually manifests itself as an immediate allergic reaction. This classic allergic reaction gives rise to severe local inflammation, which may cause asthma, sneezing, runny nose, watering eyes, skin rashes, and diarrhea or vomiting (if the stomach is involved). It can occur as an immediate reaction to certain foods, dust, dander, or pollen. In extreme cases, if not managed immediately, it can even be fatal.
Foods can cause the occurrence of immediate hypersensitivity reactions. Allergy-causing foods include milk, eggs, fish, and nuts, though just about any food can cause hypersensitivity reactions, which usually start shortly after the ingestion of food. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions are more common in children and may disappear with age. Reactions to insect bites and stings are immediate hypersensitivity reactions that can be fatal, though such instances are rare.
Type II - Cytotoxic hypersensitivity:
Cytotoxic hypersensitivity occurs when an antibody gets directed against the cell surface or a tissue antigen. It can cause inflammation, leading to tissue damage. Examples include infection susceptibility caused by hyperthyroidism, drug-induced anemia, or red blood cell destruction. Diseases caused by cytotoxic hypersensitivity include certain cell-destroying types of anemia, bruising, systemic lupus erythematosus, and incompatible blood transfusions, even mercury poisoning. Diagnosis of cytotoxic hypersensitivity can be done by detecting serum antibodies.
Type III - Immune complex hypersensitivity:
Immune complex hypersensitivity occurs following a foreign substance entering the body and an antibody complex being deposited in the tissues. Tissue damage occurs after inflammation around these abnormal deposits. Examples include rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus and kidney inflammation. These are all different types of auto-immune (self-damaging) diseases.
Type IV - Delayed hypersensitivity:
Delayed hypersensitivity occurs several hours after exposure to the allergen. Antibodies are not involved in delayed hypersensitivity. Contact dermatitis is a clinical condition caused by this process. Conventional allergists believe this reaction has little to do with a food allergy, while clinical ecologists disagree and state that it quite commonly causes food allergies. The tuberculosis test is a typical example of this hypersensitivity reaction, since redness or swelling develops over as long as 72 hours if the person has been exposed to the tuberculosis-causing agent.
To-do list for Hypersensitivity:
- Hypersensitivity treatment can only start after hypersensitivity is diagnosed after the identification of a specific allergen.
- In the event that the form of hypersensitivity diagnosed is food hypersensitivity, it is advisable to avoid the product. Similarly, avoiding the environmental pathogen can ensure your allergies do not kick in.
- However, in case the trade-offs are very great, such as choosing between a pet and a family member’s allergies, some compromises can be reached by getting a pet that does not aggravate the hypersensitive reactions.
- It is also advisable to get your family member's hypersensitivity diagnosed so any situation can be handled without needing to resort to emergency hypersensitivity treatments.
- It is important for caregivers, and all people around you, to know what you are allergic to and ensure that they know what to do in case of a hypersensitivity reaction emergency.
- Alternative treatments can help you build immunity and should be on your to-do list of how to tackle hypersensitivity.
The incidence of hypersensitivity is growing, but it usually responds to the right type of treatment. It is a situation that needs clear diagnosis and treatment. Armed with information about what you are facing as well as a supportive environment can make dealing with hypersensitivity more manageable.
© Newsmax. All rights reserved.