The manifestation of seasonal and food allergies is the result of many factors – explained Iwona Trzecikowska-Gęsicka, MD, PhD, a specialist in internal medicine and allergology in TVN24’s “You get up and know”. As she pointed out, an allergy can appear at any time in a person’s life. She emphasized that immunotherapy is an effective method of treatment, which “reduces the need for drugs, the risk of new allergies” and prevents the development of allergies.
Allergy season is underway. As said on TVN24 by Dr. Iwona Trzecikowska-Gęsicka, MD, a specialist in internal medicine and allergology from the teaching hospital No. 2 in Szczecin“seasonal allergy sufferers who are allergic to tree pollen” feel symptoms from February to early May, while those allergic to other plants show symptoms “after the picnic, throughout June and almost until the end of July”.
She added that patients suffering from “inhalant, year-round allergy are in a more difficult situation, as the cause of the symptoms is most often an allergy to pets – a cat, a dog – or possibly to dust mites”.
Allergy symptoms can appear at any time in life
The expert explained that “the manifestation of seasonal and food allergies is the result of many factors.” As she mentioned, it’s genes, environmental factors, the state of the immune system. “If we knew one gene or one cause of seasonal or food allergy symptoms at any given time in life, we would be very smart indeed and could implement preventive measures,” she added.
– Each of us can notice the symptoms of allergies at any time in our lives – emphasized the doctor.
Advantages of immunotherapy in seasonal allergy
Skórkowska-Gęsicka, when asked about effective ways to combat seasonal allergies, admitted that “the only tool in the hands of an allergist that is able to slow down, stop the allergic march, and even prevent the development of asthma in patients with allergic rhinitis, is immunotherapy, the so-called desensitization.” – We are talking about immunotherapy, which is carried out by a specialist – she added. It is “injection or sublingual immunotherapy, where after initial diagnostics (…) we confirm the allergy, observe the patient for a season or two and then decide which allergen is the worst for the patient” – she explained.
– Then we start the process of immunotherapy, which is very effective. For grasses, trees, mites, we recommend this method of treatment more – emphasized the doctor. She explained that “it reduces the need for drugs, the risk of new allergies and – most importantly, in patients who have nasal symptoms – there is no progression of disease symptoms”.
What about food and food-pollen allergies?
Layerkowska-Gęsicka noted that “in the case of food and pollen allergy, there is a possibility of prevention, although there are no specific studies on it yet.” She added that “experience shows that patients with oral allergy syndrome who are allergic, for example, to birch, which had its peak (pollen) a week ago, cannot (they) eat raw fruit and vegetables.”
– When it comes to food allergy in the strict sense, we do not have any immunotherapy in Poland today – admitted the expert. She added that “immunotherapy (in the case of allergy) to peanut is in the process of research confirming the possibility of use” in our country, but it is already approved in the United States.
– However, if the patient reacts to a certain food, it is worth deepening the allergy diagnostics to obtain as much data as possible, whether it is a pure allergy to a given food, preferably – to which molecule, so that the patient can beware of cross-reaction or be more vigilant when exploring different dishes – she noticed.
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