Last time you dropped in, we shared great information on the immune system. As the novel coronavirus continues to influence every day decisions, many patients are researching ways to boost the immune system to improve overall health. Hearing health is greatly affected by the immune system as we know ear infections and other complications may not clear up easily with a weak immune system.

The immune system:

Innate immunity is something healthy babies are born with. It is the defense system that protects the body from antigens. Innate immunity helps the barriers back off harmful materials entering the body.

The innate immunity barriers are on the front line so to speak. This is the first step in the immune response. Innate immunity defenses are as follows:

  • skin
  • mucus
  • cough reflex
  • enzymes in tear and skin oils
  • stomach acid

According to the National Library of Medicine, innate immunity comes in a protein chemical form too. This immunity is called innate humoral immunity. The body’s complement system and substances called interferon and interleukin-1. This will cause a fever.

When the antigen gets past these barriers, the antigen is attacked and destroyed by other parts of the immune system. The immune system builds up a defense against antigens with acquired immunity. It may seem nerve wracking to take the advice of taking your small baby out into public.

However, being exposed to various antigens is how babies develop acquired immunity. Follow your instinct and your trusted pediatricians advice for this. Breastmilk is incredible for a baby’s immune system development. It is also great for mother’s recovering postpartum both mentally and physically.

Passive Immunity:

Breastfeeding brings us to our next immunity we will discuss. This type of immunity is due to antibodies that are produced in another person’s body. Newborns have passive immunity when they are born.

They are born with antibodies that are transferred from the mother through the placenta. Around six to twelve months old, the antibodies begin to disappear from the baby’s body. Passive immunity can also be given by injection of antiserum.

The antibodies in the serum are formed by another person or animal. This provides immediate protection against a specific antigen. When a person receives an injection for passive immunity, it does not provide permanent or long-lasting protection against the antigen.

For example, the hepatitus shot and the tetanus antitoxin are both passive immunizations. If you step on a nail or get scratched by an old metal crate, you most likely scurry to check for the date of your last tetanus shot as they do not last forever.

What is in your blood:

The immune system includes specific types of white blood cells. It includes proteins and chemicals in the blood as well. Antibodies, complement proteins, and interferon are just a few examples.

These blood components can directly attack foreign substances in the body. Others may work together to help the immune system cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell.

There are B and T type lymphocytes. B lymphocytes become cells which produce antibodies. The antibodies attach to a certain antigen making it easier for the immune cells to attack and destroy the antigen.

T lymphocytes attack antigens directly and assist in controlling the immune response. They release chemicals that control the entire immune response also. While lymphocytes develop, they usually learn to distinguish between your own body tissue and other substance that are not usually found in your own body.

Once B cells and T cells are formed, some of those cells will multiply to provide memory for your immune system. This process helps the immune system respond faster and more efficiently the next time it is faced with the same antigen once again. In many cases, it will prevent the body from getting sick with the same illness for another time.

For example, many people that have the chicken pox immunization will not get chicken pox. Those that have already had it are very unlikely to have it another time.

Make an appointment today to discuss ways to improve your hearing and hearing health.

Staff Writer

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