Body health

    Why Allergy Sinuses and Asthma Patients Need to Improve Their Immune System

    Mar 27, 2021


    An allergic reaction is an exaggerated immune response to common substances (certain foods, animal dander, pollens, etc.).  Allergy is the most common chronic disease worldwide. Some common types of allergic diseases are; hay fever, eczema, asthma, food allergy, and skin allergy.

    Asthma is a heterogeneous disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways or bronchoconstriction for short periods[1]. Breathing becomes difficult. The causes of allergy also induce an asthmatic episode.  As per the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 25 million Americans have asthma [2]. But approximately 90% of asthmatic children and 50% of adults have allergic asthma. Asthma is hereditary.

    Sinusitis is defined as the inflammation of sinuses and nasal passages. Sinuses are small air pockets located in your face area which produce mucus. Sinusitis blocks the flow of mucus, and as a result, you get a stuffy nose. Allergic sinusitis is a common childhood condition.

    Why is strong immunity important to manage these conditions? Well, read this article, and you'll get your answers.

    What is the immune system?

    You're familiar with the immune system and immunity. Right? Here we will briefly explain what an immune system is. The immune system consists of special organs, cells, and chemicals that help fight or limit the infection[3]. The immune system defends the body against microorganisms and harmful substances and keeps a record of every germ that enters the body. 

    Lymphoid organs produce lymphocytes, which in turn, destroy any foreign particle that enters your body. 
    Each lymphoid organ in the body is important for a healthy immune system. The lymphoid organs are mainly of two types[4]:

    • And certain tissues, e.g., Peyer's patches (lymphoid tissues in the intestine), the tonsils, and the adenoids (a pair of glands located in nasal passages).
    The immune system is a complex network of organs and cells that includes lymphoid organs, lymphatic vessels, and a special type of white blood cells (called lymphocytes).

    1-Primary lymphoid organs
    Primary lymphoid organs include bone marrow and thymus. These organs produce lymphocytes.
    Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue found in bone cavities and produces blood cells. The thymus is a gland located behind the breast bone. 

    2. Secondary lymphoid organs
    The secondary lymphoid organ includes: 
    • Lymph nodes – small organs located throughout your body, including your neck, armpits, lungs, gut, and groin.
    • Lymphatic vessels – are a network of vessels that connects lymph nodes and transfer lymphocytes from one place to another,
    • Spleen – the largest lymphoid organ of the body, 
    • The appendix[5], 
    • And certain tissues, e.g., Peyer's patches (lymphoid tissues in the intestine), the tonsils, and the adenoids (a pair of glands located in nasal passages). 

    What is an Allergen?

    An allergen is a protein capable of triggering an immune response in humans[6]. Allergens are of a wide range. They are transferred through particles and are most often inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergens found in the environment are:
    • Pollens from trees or grass
    • Molds
    • Animal dander
    • Dust

    Allergies and Immune response:

    Are you allergic to something which is not a problem for others? Well, it seems fine because everyone is allergic to something. Your immune system recognizes this specific substance as an "invader" and defends your body against it by triggering an allergic reaction.

    When you are exposed to specific pollen, your immune system produces antibodies "Immunoglobulin E (IgE)" as a response[6, 7]. Each IgE antibody is specific for each type of pollen. These antibodies activate lymphoid cells to release a chemical to fight the invaders. Upon the next encounter, an immune response is triggered. That's why you're allergic to substances that are harmless to others.

    The first exposure is mild, but upon subsequent encounters, a more severe immune reaction may occur. The allergic reaction causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, gut, or skin (such as rash or hives). However, these symptoms depend upon the severity of the immune reaction, type and amount of allergen, and individual's susceptibility to an allergen.
    Asthmatic patients have an overactive immune system resulting in lung inflammation in response to a stimulus that doesn't cause such response in normal individuals. The symptoms an asthmatic patient has are; coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. An allergic reaction can be mild, moderate, or severe. For example, the symptoms can be mild, such as coughing, wheezing, or runny nose to a more severe anaphylactic shock, leading to death.

    What is an Anaphylactic shock?

    Anaphylactic shock is a sudden and severe allergic reaction in previously sensitized patients that needs immediate medical care[8]. Within minutes of exposure, you will experience worsening symptoms. Without proper medical attention, it can lead to death.

    The perfect way to empower the immunity for asthma and sinuses patients:

    Do you know that a strong immune system helps individuals manage their asthma and fight triggers present in their surroundings? An allergic reaction that due to the airborne toxin may worse your asthma attack

    Is traditional treatment enough to manage your condition? Well, some experts suggest the use of antioxidants and vitamins. Exercise is also suggested to combat their asthma. Here is a list of some additional steps to develop immunity:

    • Good diet – a diet rich in fruit and vegetables boosts immunity. Foods rich in omega 3, 6, and 9, vitamins, and minerals (zinc, iron, selenium, and copper) improve immunity[9].
    • Exercise – Just like a healthy diet, regular exercise is also vital to general good health. Breathing exercises might improve asthma and breathing[10]. But there isn't much evidence to support this hypothesis.
    • Vitamins – Vitamin B complex, especially vitamin B6[11] and B12, are anti-inflammatory and help combat asthma.
    • Antioxidants – Vitamins, vitamin A, C, and E, and minerals, such as selenium, protect body cells against oxidation damage. Vitamin C is famous for histamine level reduction; hence it prevents an allergic reaction. 
    • Hygienic lifestyle – You should follow general good-health guidelines to improve your immunity. Quit smoking and avoid alcohol. Get enough sleep and avoid stress
    A strong immune system will help you to fight diseases. With a proper diet and good habits, you'll increase your immunity