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Cockroach Allergy

Posted by : Neha, 04 Aug 2011 03:40 PM
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Cockroaches are the most common pest found in our houses. A single cockroach can leave us panic-stricken! They are one of those unwanted guests in our dwellings that leave us petrified. No matter how much we try to get rid of these crawly creatures, they somehow find their way back home. Cockroaches choose to flourish in our homes because all the essential requirements for their survival like food, humidity, water and optimum temperatures are easily available for them. But cockroach infestation in our homes is not good for our well being as they prove to be a potential cause for food poisoning and allergic reactions. Cockroach allergy is developed in many individuals due to their sensitivity to cockroach allergen but unknowingly, most of us relate the allergy to a commonly known cause like dust, pollen grains, etc. Increased awareness about cockroach allergy will help in its prompt identification and treatment.
The Allergen Cockroaches multiply quickly in favorable conditions. This is why, a single cockroach entering in our household multiplies fast enough to produce several cockroaches in a very short time span. These household pests produce saliva, secretions, cast skins, waste matter, eggs etc., which decay to produce potent allergens. The dried remnants of their dead bodies can turn into tiny pieces that can easily remain suspended in the surrounding air. Regular household chores like vacuuming, sweeping and other activities can disperse the allergens all over. The size of cockroach allergen can range from 10-200 microns. It is actually the protein in the allergen that is responsible to trigger an immune reaction.
The Immune Response
Most of the people are not affected by a cockroach allergen but some of us may develop sensitivity towards it. When a person sensitive to the allergen comes in contact with it, the body treats it as an unwanted harmful substance and starts producing antibodies to counterattack it. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is the specific antibody produced against cockroach allergen. These antibodies attach to mast cells present in the nose and produce an allergic reaction next time, the allergen enters into the body. The IgE binds to the allergen and triggers the release of histamine which causes the associated symptoms.
The Symptoms Cockroach allergy symptoms include
Itchy and runny nose
Itchy throat
Nasal congestion
Allergic rhinitis
Eye irritation and watery eyes
Worsened symptoms of asthma patients
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