Allergies are reactions you have to otherwise harmless substances
your immune system protects you against invading agents
such as bacteria and viruses. If you have allergies, otherwise
harmless allergens cause your body to react as if they were
dangerous invaders. In effect, your immune system is responding
to a false alarm.
immune system thinks it is protecting you by generating
large amounts of a type of antibody specific to the particular
allergen you're allergic to.
antibody attaches itself to certain cells in your body.
The next time you come into contact with the allergen, the
allergen attaches to the antibody like a key fitting into
a lock. This lock-up causes the release of inflammatory
substances into your system. These substances, including
histamine, move into various parts of your body, such as
your respiratory system, to cause allergy symptoms including
runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing, among others.
are medications that block the action of histamines and
relieve your allergy symptoms.
people, certain medicines, insect venom, or foods may also
cause allergic reactions. See your doctor promptly if you
suspect you are having an allergic reaction to these substances.
These allergies are not the same as respiratory allergies
like hay fever, and are not treated with the same medicines.
See your doctor promptly if you suspect you are having an
allergic reaction to these substances. The information in
this Web site addresses only respiratory allergies.