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Category: General
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createdon: 14 Jul 2017
updatedon: 09 Jun 2023

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Author: Khoa Tran
Published Jul 14, 2017
Updated Jun 09, 2023

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Respiratory Allergies

History of Respiratory Allergies

Respiratory allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, have been recognized as a medical condition for centuries. 

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who lived in the 5th century BCE, described the symptoms of hay fever and recognized that they were caused by exposure to pollens and other environmental allergens.

However, it was not until the 19th century that the connection between allergies and respiratory symptoms was more clearly established. In 1819, an English physician named John Bostock published a description of his own hay fever symptoms, which he believed were caused by the scent of flowers. He subsequently conducted experiments that confirmed his suspicion, and coined the term "catarrhus aestivus" to describe the condition.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, researchers began to investigate the immunological mechanisms underlying allergic reactions. In 1902, an Austrian pediatrician named Clemens von Pirquet introduced the term "allergy" to describe an abnormal immune reaction to a foreign substance. He also developed a skin test to diagnose allergies, which involved injecting a small amount of allergen under the skin and observing the resulting reaction.

In the mid-20th century, new diagnostic tests and treatments for allergies were developed, including the radioallergosorbent test (RAST) and the first antihistamine medication, Benadryl. These advances allowed for more accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of respiratory allergies.

Modern Understanding of Respiratory Allergies

An allergy is a type of immune system reaction that occurs when the body identifies a usually harmless substance as a threat and overreacts to it. This substance is referred to as an allergen. When an allergen is encountered, the body produces specific proteins called antibodies to fight it off. These antibodies trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.

Respiratory allergies are a common problem that affect many people. They are caused by an allergic reaction to things in the air we breathe, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold fragments, and cockroach droppings. This type of allergy is also known as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. The symptoms of respiratory allergies can range from mild to severe and can include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itching, watery eyes, itchy eyes, sinus pressure, coughing, shortness of breath, and asthma.

Asthma is a type of respiratory allergy that affects the bronchial tubes. When someone with asthma comes into contact with an allergen, the bronchial tubes become constricted, causing breathing difficulties. This is known as bronchoconstriction. Some people with respiratory allergies also have allergic asthma, which is a type of asthma that is triggered by allergens.

In some cases, respiratory allergies can lead to a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

There are several ways to diagnose respiratory allergies. Skin testing and blood testing are two common methods. If you have been diagnosed with respiratory allergies, your doctor may recommend allergen immunotherapy, also known as desensitization. This involves exposing the person to small amounts of the allergen over time to help reduce the severity of their symptoms. There are two types of allergen immunotherapy: subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).

There are also several medications that can help relieve the symptoms of respiratory allergies. Antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, and bronchodilators are some of the most commonly used medications. In addition, saline nasal irrigation, nasal corticosteroid sprays, and environmental control can also help.

Avoidance measures, such as avoiding contact with allergens, are important in reducing the severity of symptoms. Healthy living habits, such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, can also help.

There are many raspatory allergies such as:
- Dust mite allergy
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Asthma
- Bronchitis
- Bronchiolitis
- Sinusitis
- Pneumonia
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Occupational asthma
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)
- Eosinophilic pneumonia
- Pollen
- Mold
- Pet dander


Runny nose
Itchy, red or watery eyes
Nasal congestion / stuffy nose
Difficulty breathing
Difficulty swallowing
Chest tightness
Chest pain

Confirmation Tests

- Allergy test

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