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Why do allergies affect us so much?

Why do allergies affect us so much?

May 05, 2022 Jami Chiusano

Allergy season. We all know (and probably dislike) it. Why do these tiny particles in the air affect us so much? 


The spring season brings sunny (and rainy) days, warmer weather, and lots of allergens in the air! As the flowers start blooming, they release allergens that spread in the air we breathe, wreaking havoc on our airways. After a long winter — and for other reasons related to how we eat and take care of ourselves — our airways tend to be quite dry. 

 

What happens when our airways become dry? 


They become inflamed and slow down the cilia. Cilia are microscopic hair-like structures that beat inhaled airborne particles back toward the mouth to keep the particles away from the lungs. Once pushed toward the mouth, you naturally swallow these and digest them safely out of your body. When our airways dry, cilia cease to beat as quickly and have a harder time  removing those inhaled particles quickly before they cause a problem. Without the layer of natural protection, the cells that line our airways may be more sensitive to airborne allergens. 


Let’s talk about histamines.


Our bodies respond to allergens that aren’t swept away by our cilia by releasing histamine. Histamine is an important chemical in your body that acts like a bouncer at a club, according to WebMD. When they are released, they trigger the body to get rid of allergens and other inhaled nasties by sneezing, tearing up, scratching, and more. If allergens get trapped by the cilia, they’re far less likely to trigger a histamine response! When our airways are dry, this histamine response is more rapid than when our airways are hydrated. 

What can I do to help reduce allergy symptoms (naturally)? 


Hydrate your upper airways daily. By hydrating the upper airways, you are allowing the cilia to beat quickly. By keeping the cilia hydrated and beating as intended, you’re promoting your body to better do its natural job of defending itself from inhaled particles. 

FEND daily airway hygiene is a great way to help airways do their jobs during allergy season. FEND is a hypertonic saline. A benefit of hypertonic salines is that they hasten clearance in your upper airways. According to this study published on the National Library of Medicine, hypertonic saline in the nose can help reduce those symptoms caused by allergens. Airway hydration with FEND helps your body improve its natural ability to catch particles by hydrating and cleansing the airways, helping to shore up our bodies' own defenses to better trap particles. If you have questions about your personal course of care and allergy season regime, we recommend speaking with your doctor.