Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance — such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander — that doesn't cause a reaction in most people.
Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. Some antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause infection.
When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn't. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system's reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.
The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can't be cured, a number of treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.
Allergy symptoms depend on the substance involved and can involve the airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
HAY FEVER also called allergic rhinitis, may cause:
A FOOD ALLERGY may cause:
AN INSECT STING ALLERGY may cause:
A DRUG ALLERGY may cause:
ATOPIC DERMATITIS an allergic skin condition also called eczema, may cause skin to:
Some types of allergies, including allergies to foods and insect stings, have the potential to trigger a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. A life-threatening medical emergency, this reaction can cause you to go into shock. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
An allergy starts when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular allergen. When you're exposed to the allergen again, these antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.
Common allergy triggers include:
You may be at increased risk of developing an allergy if you:
Having an allergy increases your risk of certain other medical problems, including:
Preventing allergic reactions depends on the type of allergy you have. General measures include the following:
BLOOD ALLERGY TEST FOR
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