Why Isn't My Allergy Medication Working?
As spring slowly approaches, those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies are preparing for the onslaught of symptoms which include sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and congestion. Unfortunately, most of us also find that the allergy medicine we used last season just isn’t working anymore. The cause of this dilemma is a bit insidious, in that our own immune system, which is designed to protect us from illness, is actually the cause of the allergic reaction, as well as the reason the medicines stop working.
In the spring, when we find that our allergy medication is no longer working, the most common allergy trigger is pollen, which is released into the air by trees, grasses, and weeds. If you are allergic to pollen, your immune system goes into hyperactive mode as it mistakenly regards the pollen as an illness causing organism and then releases antibodies to attack it like it would a bacteria. When your body’s antibodies attack the allergens, it causes a chemical reaction which releases histamines into the blood. The histamines are what results in runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms of allergies. Allergy medications are designed to block the histamine that is released. Unfortunately, since our immune systems are adaptive, we quickly build immunity to the medications, and therefore the medicines stop working.