Allergy is an unusual hypersensitivity to various substances, which most people do not cause painful reactions. Typically, the enemies are household dust, plant pollen, mold, pet epithelium, some types of food, etc. These agents become allergens and allergies occur.
The last decades of XX century are characterized by a significant increase in the frequency of allergic diseases. Deteriorating environmental situation, unsustainable diet, excessive drug therapy, uncontrolled use of antibiotics, stress, sedentary lifestyle, climate change… All this increases the exposure of the human body to allergens – even those that have always existed.
And if the XX century was the century of cardiovascular disease, the XXI century is predicted by the World Health Organization will be the century of allergies. Most researchers predict a further increase in the incidence of allergic diseases, including in children, which dictates the search for new ways to solve the problem, in particular, the use of modern allergic research.
Mechanism of allergic reaction
There are several mechanisms for the development of an allergic reaction, but the most common one is of immediate type. This is an allergic reaction caused by immunoglobulin E. Immunoglobulins are special proteins that are present in the blood and secretion, and the mechanism of their action in case of allergy is as follows: in a person suffering from or predisposed to allergy, antibodies accumulate in the body, which, when combined with an antigen from the outside (allergists call it “allergen”), cause a real immune reaction “antigen-antibody”. It only takes a few seconds from the moment of exposure to the development of the reaction. An allergy has many faces. Its manifestations are very diverse. It may be inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose (rhinitis) and eyes (conjunctivitis); swelling of the face, neck, local edema (swelling of the neck); bronchospasm with the development of asthma; skin rashes and itching (hives) or dermatitis (neurodermatitis).
There are two types of allergy: seasonal and year-round, which, in turn, is associated with the nature of the allergen. Allergens that are constantly present in our environment cause a year-round reaction: house dust, mold fungi, living in bathrooms, kitchens and corridors of old houses, medicines, household chemicals… Seasonal allergies are associated with the seasons and life of plants, and this helps to determine the date of exacerbation quite accurately.
Determination of general and specific immunoglobulins E
An increase in the general level of IgE may indicate the presence of allergic diseases, as well as other pathological conditions. This research method is used as a screening test to confirm the allergic nature of the disease. To diagnose the “guilty allergen” is defined specific IgE that reacts with specific allergens. The presence of an allergy is judged by the level of IgE, which is produced in response to the allergens, not by a clinical reaction (manifestation of symptoms of an allergic reaction). If a patient’s serum reacts with an allergen, it means it contains IgE antibodies that are responsible for the development of allergic reactions.
Study preparation: 3 days before the blood collection, physical and emotional stress must be excluded.
This test has no absolute contraindications, i.e., it can be conducted even in the period of acute illness and in children under 3 years of age. As practice shows, children under 6 months of age are not justified in this study, because at this age the immune response is still weak and IgE level is low.