Allergy Immunotherapy

Topics: Immunology, Immune system, Asthma Pages: 1 (356 words) Published: December 26, 2012
Allergen Immunotherapy

Allergies are annoying, inconvenient and can even be deadly, but what is an allergy? An allergy is: “a response to certain substances – called allergens – by the immune system that is considered abnormal” (1) though very little is known about why people developed allergies; we do have a number of treatments available. There are different treatments available for different allergy symptoms. For example, a person experiencing breathing troubles due to an allergic reaction to pollen may use nasal sprays while a person who has a rash may use lotions. (2) However, always taking allergy medications may do more damage than it helps a person’s body overtime. This is why allergen immunotherapy is becoming increasingly popular. Commonly known as allergy shots, allergen immunotherapy is a new form of allergy treatment which involves “giving the body small amounts of the allergens which it is allergic to for a long period of time to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms”. (3) Because allergies are caused by the immune system, allergy shots work to change how the immune system may react to the presence of an allergen, produces special immune cells that regulate the response of said system to allergens, and promotes the construction of antibodies that prevent allergen antibodies from releasing histamine, a common allergy causing particle. (4) The expression of genes is also something that is significantly affected. This leads to different kinds of cells being produces, ones that react to allergens differently, resulting in fewer symptoms experienced (5) Although allergen immunotherapy may seem like the best treatment for all forms of allergies, there are major conflicts about allergen immunotherapy. For example, allergy shots don’t have the ability to cure allergies, only lessen the symptoms. Some people would also argue that allergy shots, like vaccines, do more harm than good. They contain substances that may be fatal to a person. Even in small...
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