Published on July 17th, 2013 | by Tom


What Are Allergies? Causes & Symptoms of Allergies

Allergies are not diseases and not harmful. An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. It’s an abnormal reaction by a person’s immune system against a normally harmless substance. If you have a particular allergy, you become ill or get a rash when you eat, smell, or touch something that does not normally make people ill.

Causes of allergies

General view is that both gene and environment play a role in causing allergies. Heredity seems by far the most significant but recently the environmental factors seem increasingly explainable for some allergies. One view is that allergies can develop as the result of childhood exposure to certain irritants, such as dust or animal dander, while the immune system is not yet mature.

There are many different allergens and foods may the most common ones. A wide variety of foods can cause allergic reaction. Foods like cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, fish and shellfish are most likely to cause allergic responses.

Airborne allergens like pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold are common allergy triggers too.

Other common allergens including insect stings, medications (especially those penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics), latex or other substances you touch.

Sometimes certain people may be allergic to hot or cold temperature, sunlight…

What Are Allergies? Causes & Symptoms of Allergies

image via northsideent

Symptoms of allergies

For different allergens, the symptoms vary and can involve the airways, sinuses, skin, digestive system and nasal passages. Runny nose, sneezing, itching, rashes, swelling or asthma are some common symptoms, and some particular symptoms for different allergens are as follows:

Allergic rhinitis Congestion, itchy, runny nose, watery or swollen eyes
Atopic dermatitis Itchy, red, flaking or peeling skin
Drug allergies The whole body may be affected and can lead to many symptoms: hives, itchy, rash, facial swelling, wheezing, anaphylaxis
Eat something allergic Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, or even severe, life-threatening reaction.
Insect sting allergy Itching or hives all over body, swelling near the sting site, cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath.


Source [nih] [mayoclinic]. image via [myilluminateblog]

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