post-title What is on the horizon for allergy and asthma? http://midwestallergy.net/wp-content/uploads/DonMcNeil.jpg 2016-08-24 16:37:03 yes no Posted by

What is on the horizon for allergy and asthma?

“Medicine is more art than science” is a frequently mentioned quotation and just as true in allergy and immunology as in other fields of medicine.  Fortunately there are many new developments and discoveries which are shifting this balance toward a more scientific basis. In general, research is focused on what happens during an allergic response […]

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“Medicine is more art than science” is a frequently mentioned quotation and just as true in allergy and immunology as in other fields of medicine.  Fortunately there are many new developments and discoveries which are shifting this balance toward a more scientific basis.

In general, research is focused on what happens during an allergic response and much is known of what the mechanism is which underlies this response.  Very little is known about why this happens.

IgE is a marker of allergic disease in humans but what could be the benefit (if any) of having IgE exist in humans at all?  Other questions which can be reasonably asked include…  “What does one individual become affected  and not another?” or “Why are allergies and asthma more likely to affect a younger population?

It is interesting to consider the possibility that the human species perceives a substance as foreign and requires elimination or immobilization while in other individuals, it is not considered a problem.  For example, a peanut to most people is innocuous but for others, it is life-threatening.

Somehow the individual with allergies is unable to effectively and efficiently deal with these allergens because of a faulty immune response.  Manipulating the allergy environment to reduce or prevent exposure is one method to aid in treatment.  Lifestyle changes are often the first measure taken.  Cigarette smoking, obesity and other lifestyle modifications are examples of these techniques.

Allergy immunotherapy (AIT) is a well-recognized and accepted means of altering the immune response.  Conventional methods of exposing an individual to allergies or allergy injections have been expanded and altered to study the delivery of the same allergens orally (or sub-lingual), patch and inguinal lymph node injection.

Better treatment of allergies will stimulate efforts to deliver better pharmacologic therapy.  At times, simple modifications and techniques used to deliver medication will result in a better outcome.  The pharmaceutical industry has virtually exploded with the discovery of new medications designed to alter the immune response seen in allergic disease. The high cost of these discoveries can be oppressive at first but continued use and appropriate choices will have a positive influence and ultimately drive prices down.

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