Immunology is the study of the immune system, which includes all cells and tissues involved in defending a host from infectious agents. The immune system protects against disease by maintaining the barrier between the host body and its environment by signaling mechanisms that prevent entry, the spread of potentially harmful organisms, or the damage inflicted on invading invaders. Silver Spring Immunology specialists assess the health condition of the immune system to establish if everything is working as it should.
Immunology addresses a variety of problems, including;
Autoimmune disorders are a group of diseases that involve the immune system attacking the body’s tissues or organs. These diseases can occur in people of any age but are more common in older adults. The most common autoimmune disease is rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammation of the joints that causes joint pain and stiffness. Many autoimmune disorders have no known cause, but viral infections or certain medications may trigger others.
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system that can result in symptoms such as hives (urticaria), swelling around the nose or eyes (angioedema), difficulty breathing (wheezing), nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal cramps (abdominal pain). Allergic reactions may occur days after exposure to something that triggers an allergic reaction in someone without allergies, called delayed hypersensitivity reaction (DHR). In contrast, food allergies generally cause immediate symptoms when someone eats a particular food item, such as peanut butter or shellfish, even though they have never experienced allergic symptoms before eating it.
Immunology can also address cancer, which damages the immune system and make it more likely that an infection will spread throughout the body. Immunology specialists use immunotherapy, which uses biological agents or drugs to stimulate or enhance the immune system’s ability to fight cancerous cells.
Immunology focuses on internal defenses against infection, such as the humoral immune response, cell-mediated immune response, and acquired immunity. The basic understanding of how these work has led to new approaches for treating infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other bacterial infections.
The immune system can fight against transplant rejection, a process where the body rejects an organ or tissue. The immune system is responsible for identifying foreign cells and tissues, destroying them, and preventing them from transplanting into another person. Immunologists use this knowledge to develop new drugs to suppress the immune response while allowing transplants to occur.
Immunodeficiencies are disorders in which the body’s immune system cannot defend itself against disease. Various factors, including genetic mutations, environmental toxins, and immune suppression, cause these disorders. Immunology plays a crucial role in addressing immunodeficiencies.
The immune system plays a key role in defending the body against diseases. It works by identifying foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses and destroying them. The immune system also helps the body fight off cancer and other diseases when they appear. However, the immune system is prone to diseases that immunology specialists can only address. For help with your immune system, book an appointment with the Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland.