The History of Allergies

Young girl in autumn park blowing nose. Standing in park in warm clothing.Though allergic reactions have been documented in ancient Greek and Roman history, the modern era of the study of allergies really began in the 1800’s when hay fever was described by Dr. John Bostock in 1819. This continues to be one of the most common allergic reactions, affecting approximately 15 million people in the United States.

In 1869 the first skin test for allergies was described when a scientist placed pollen into a small cut in the skin and watched for a reaction.

The concept of immunotherapy, which is building up the immune system through the administration of injections to help people cope with their allergies, was introduced in 1914.

Antihistamines, medications that would help the body respond better to allergic reactions became more widely used in the late 1930’s.  They helped by lessening the body’s reaction to allergens.

In 1948 corticosteroids were first used to treat asthma and allergic reactions. They worked on reducing the inflammation that would be caused by the allergens.

The discovery of mast cells in 1953 helped to identify what caused allergies to set off the immune response of the body. In 1963 IgE antibodies were discovered and this further helped to identify what set into motion the chain reaction within the body leading to the release of histamine and allergic reactions.

Professor Samuelson won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in the early 1980’s for his work with leukotrines which cause asthma allergy and inflammatory responses to foreign substances.

In present day, there are several methods used to test for allergies and various treatment options are available to minimize a person’s reactions to allergens. These developments have been made possible due to research and discoveries over the years.

If you would like to be tested for allergies or discuss the best course of treatment, please call Jamaica Hospital at 718-206-6742

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Seasonal Allergies Tips and Treatments

517019433-virus-sneeze-300x200While spring signals the beginning of beautiful weather and warmer days for many; it also marks the beginning of allergy symptoms for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are one of these people, symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and headaches can leave you feeling miserable.

Dr. Lisa Roth, allergist and immunologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center advises, “There are several things you can do to find relief. If symptoms are mild, try the following suggestions which may provide temporary relief:

  • Closing windows and doors at night or whenever pollen counts are high
  • Trying over the counter remedies such as decongestants or antihistamines
  • Rinsing your eyes with a saline solution
  • Trying nasal irrigation
  • Taking steamy showers
  • Wearing a mask while doing yard work
  • Washing clothes and linens frequently
  • Using air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters
  • Keeping indoor air dry by using a dehumidifier
  • Thoroughly washing your face and hair when you get home

If your symptoms are continuous and affect your ability to carry out routine activities- you should speak with an allergist.  Your allergist will be able to help you identify what triggers your seasonal allergies and provide the best course of treatment to offer relief or stop symptoms.

Treatment options may include prescription medication to control symptoms or immunotherapy.  “Allergy immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a form of long-term treatment for allergic disorders that decreases symptoms for many people by modulating the immune system in a beneficial way. Allergy shots decrease sensitivity to allergens providing lasting relief of allergy symptoms,” explains Dr. Roth. Allergy shots are highly effective and can help alleviate many symptoms.

The Division of Allergy and Immunology at Jamaica Hospital focuses on the diagnosis and long-term treatment of allergic and immunologic conditions. To schedule an appointment with an allergist such as Dr. Lisa Roth, please call 718-206-6742.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.