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Your body's immune system is overreacting to irritants in the environment, such as the following:-
Your health care provider will examine your nose and nasal secretions. You may be referred to an allergist, a physician who can pinpoint what you are allergic to by performing skin or blood tests. Depending on the cause of your allergies, you may need to do any or all of the following:-
Use a nasal rinse made with water and salt to taste like tears. Rinse each nostril and, with your head over a sink, hold your head sideways and let the water run from your upper nostril to your lower nostril. Keep your nostrils lower than your throat to prevent the salt water from draining into the back of your throat. This rinse shrinks your sinus membranes and increases drainage.
May 2012. NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Amish children raised on rural farms in northern Indiana suffer from asthma and allergies less often even than Swiss farm kids, a group known to be relatively free from allergies, according to a new study.
"The rates are very, very low," said Dr. Mark Holbreich, the study's lead author. "So there's something that we feel is even more protective in the Amish" than in European farming communities.
Researchers have long observed the so-called "farm effect" -- the low allergy and asthma rates found among kids raised on farms -- in central Europe, but less is known about the influence of growing up on North American farms. Holbreich, an allergist in Indianapolis, has been treating Amish communities in Indiana for two decades, but he noticed that very few Amish actually had any allergies.
Amish families, who can trace their roots back to Switzerland, typically farm using methods from the 1800s and they don't own cars or televisions. The researchers surveyed 157 Amish families, about 3,000 Swiss farming families, and close to 11,000 Swiss families who did not live on a farm -- all with children between the ages of six and 12.
They found that just five percent of Amish kids had been diagnosed with asthma, compared to 6.8 percent of Swiss farm kids and 11.2 percent of the other Swiss children. Similarly, among 138 Amish kids given a skin-prick test to determine whether they were predisposed to having allergies, only 10 kids -- or seven percent -- had a positive response.
In comparison, 25 percent of the farm-raised Swiss kids and 44 percent of the other Swiss children had a positive test, the researchers report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study did not determine why the kids who grew up on farms were less likely to develop asthma and allergies, but other research has pointed to exposure to microbes and contact with cows, in particular, to partially explain the farm effect (see Reuters Health story of May 2, 2012).
Drinking raw cow's milk also seems to be involved, Holbreich said.
The going theory is this early exposure to the diverse potential allergens and pathogens on a farm trains the immune system to recognize them, but not overreact to the harmless ones. As for why the Amish kids have even lower allergy and asthma rates than the other farming kids, "that piece of the puzzle we really haven't explained," Holbreich told Reuters Health. He speculated that it could be at least partly a result of the Amish having larger families or spending even more time outside or in barns than people on more modern working farms.
|Weak or unproven link|
|Strong or generally accepted link|
|Proven definite or direct link|
|Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative|
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
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Acute: An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.
Allergen: A substance that is capable of producing an allergic response in the body.
Allergic Rhinitis: Also known as hay fever, this is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes that is caused by specific allergen(s). It is an allergy characterized by sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing and a burning/scratchy sensation of the palate and throat.
Allergy: Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.
Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.
Asthma: A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.
Bruxism: Prolonged, unintentional grinding and clenching of the teeth, usually occurring during sleep. 'Bruxers' are often unaware that they have developed this habit. Symptoms include abraded/chipped teeth (in extreme cases, waking up with tooth chips in the mouth); facial pain; oversensitive teeth; tense facial and jaw muscles; headaches; dislocation of the jaw; damage to the tooth enamel, exposing the inside of the tooth; a popping or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ); tongue indentations; damage to the inside of the cheek.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Diarrhea: Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.
Homeopathy: A system of medicine based on the belief that the cure of disease can be effected by minute doses of substances that, if given to a healthy person in large doses, would produce the same symptoms as are present in the disease being treated. Homeopathy employs natural substances in small doses to stimulate the body's reactive process to remove toxic waste and bring the body back into balance.
Immune System: A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.
Parkinson's Disease: A chronic, slowly-progressing disease of the nervous system characterized clinically by the combination of tremor, rigidity, extreme slowness of movement, and stooped posture. It is characterized pathologically by loss of dopamine in the substantia nigra.
Pernicious Anemia: Anemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Polyp: A usually nonmalignant growth or tumor protruding from the mucous lining of an organ such as the nose, bladder or intestine, often causing obstruction.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).
Rhinitis: Inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.
Tincture: An alcohol or water-alcohol solution, usually referring to a preparation from herbal materials.
Urticaria: Commonly known as hives, urticaria is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Urticaria is not just an allergic disease, however. It can be caused by metabolic diseases, medications, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, or physical sensitivity. Traditional allergies to foods or medications as well as viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria which usually lasts only a few hours but may last up to 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting more than 6 weeks) is more complex, given the vast number of potential triggers. Symptoms include sudden onset; initial itching; then swelling of the surface of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges; welts turn white on touching; new welts develop when the skin is scratched; usually disappear within minutes or hours. Welts enlarge, change shape, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas.