Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide.Symptoms of allergies range from making you miserable to putting you at risk for life-threatening reactions.
An allergic reaction begins in the immune system. Our immune system protects us from invading organisms like bacteria and viruses that can cause illness. If you have an allergy, your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader. This substance is called an allergen. The immune system overreacts to the allergen by producing specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells (called mast cells located in different parts of the body like nose, eyes, lungs, skin and intestines) and trigger release of histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.
Allergy SymptomsAn allergic reaction typically triggers symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin. For some people, allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma. In the most serious cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.
Don't WaitAllergy symptoms can be more than bothersome or irritating. They can interfere with your day-to-day activities and sleep. Allergies can result in loss of productivity, missed work or school and an overall poor quality of life. Seeking the help of an allergist is the key to treating your allergies.
- Insect stings
- Animal dander