Your body encounters billions of germs each day, according to Everyday Health, and it is up to your immune system to protect you from this constant barrage of bacteria and viruses. Every surface you touch increases your risk for exposure to dangerous or deadly pathogens, as does every breath of air you inhale. A weak immune system allows germs to reproduce inside you, and large numbers of certain bacterial or viral strains can make you extremely sick.
Your body encounters billions of germs each day, and it is up to your immune system to protect you from this constant barrage of bacteria and viruses.
Your immune system protects you when a pathogen, such as a cold virus or bacteria from a cut, enters your body. To keep you healthy, your immune system must identify, kill and eliminate these invaders before they have a chance to take hold.
Notable Immune Disorders
An immune disorder can prevent your body from identifying pathogens or launching an attack, unfortunately, which can cause you to become very ill. There are a number of immune disorders, including airborne allergies, allergic drug reactions, food allergies, inherited diseases and other conditions.
Nasal, Food and Drug Allergies
Nasal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, occur when you breathe in something you are allergic to, such as pollen, animal dander or dust. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen carried in the wind from trees, grasses and weeds, not from flowers. This immune response causes your nose, mouth, eyes, throat or skin to itch, a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. You may also experience problems with your sense of smell.
Symptoms of a food allergy, such as itchy skin rashes and swelling inside the mouth, can develop if you eat something your immune system has identified as dangerous. One in 13 children now has a food allergy, according to Food Allergy Research & Education.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says that allergic reactions account for 5 to 10 percent of all adverse drug reactions.
All medications have the potential to cause side effects, including an allergic reaction. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says that allergic reactions account for 5 to 10 percent of all adverse drug reactions. Symptoms typically occur within minutes to a few hours of taking the drug and can affect your nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of your stomach or skin. Anaphylactic shock is the most severe form of a drug allergy and its symptoms include hives, facial or throat swelling, vomiting, wheezing, light-headedness and shock. Antibiotics are the most common cause of anaphylactic shock but chemotherapy drugs can also cause this severe reaction.
Allergies to vaccines are a serious problem for some people because it prevents them from getting the vaccinations they need to help boost protection provided by the immune system. Research shows that most people with a vaccine allergy are sensitive to one of the two common ingredients in vaccines: egg protein or gelatin.
Medical Conditions Associated with Immune System Disorders
About half of all people with seasonal allergies or asthma have eosinophilic esophagitis, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and many others have eczema or food allergies. Eosinophilic esophagitis, also known as EE or EoE, is a condition that causes irritation and inflammation in the esophagus, which is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. A food allergy reaction, acid reflux or airborne allergens can contribute to inflammation and potential injury to the tissues of the esophagus.
Hereditary angioedema is a rare, inherited immune disorder that causes episodic swelling of the face, extremities, digestive tract, airway or genitalia.
About half of all people with seasonal allergies or asthma have eosinophilic esophagitis, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and many others have eczema or food allergies.
Problems with the immune system can cause it to mistakenly identify your body’s healthy cells as invaders then launch repeated attacks against these normal cells. Doctors refer to this as an autoimmune disease, where ‘autoimmune’ means the body has developed an unhealthy immunity against itself.
If you suffer from immune system disorders, schedule an appointment with a Revere Health allergy and immunology professional.