Allergy is the term used to describe the body's defence reaction against foreign substances that are actually common and harmless, caused by contact with the skin or mucous membranes and the associated penetration into the body.
The symptoms can vary and are primarily a swollen nose, runny nose, sneezing, eye swelling, eye watering and itching, but swelling of whole parts of the body, shortness of breath and diarrhoea are also possible.
An allergy is always associated with the action of the body's own messenger substance histamine in the tissue. In its normal state, histamine is responsible for a variety of functions in the body, for example, for the dilation of blood vessels and thus for the blood supply. However, it's also involved in inflammatory processes in the body and allergies can increase the body's own release of histamine. This leads to the symptoms mentioned above.
Therefore, immediate-type allergies are always treated symptomatically first. Antihistamines such as cetirizine and loratadine block the receptors for histamine on the vascular and cell walls and thus prevent the body's subsequent reaction.
Anti-inflammatory therapy with cortisone, on the other hand, intervenes somewhat later and prevents swelling and thus the symptoms of inflammation. Hyposensitisation is also an option for recurring allergic reactions and a known trigger. In this treatment, the body is given the allergen in a very small amount and in a chemically altered form, which causes the body to stop perceiving the allergen as a foreign body and therefore no longer secrete excess histamine. This therapy is well tolerated.
As experienced ENT doctors, we're at your side in treating your allergy. You're welcome to make an appointment at our practice in Berlin-Dahlem.