Allergies

What Causes Allergies

Every year millions of individuals around the world suffer the inconvenience of indoor and outdoor allergies. Thankfully many over-the-counter and prescription remedies are available to alleviate the symptoms of pesky allergies. To know which medicine will best reduce your symptoms, however, it is wise to investigate what causes allergies. Allergies are caused by an overreaction in your immune system to a substance that your body has come in contact with. Your immune system can misidentify harmless materials as dangerous threats and then responds in an attempt to neutralize such threats. Your immune systems response to the perceived threat is manifested in your allergy symptoms which can include a runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and skin irritation.

Allergies are frequently caused by substances that you inhale into the nose and lungs. Common outdoor sources are certain trees, grasses, and weeds. During specific times of year, most notably spring and fall, small, inconspicuous flowers on certain trees, grasses, and weeds, release billions of pollen particles which are spread through the air by the wind. During these seasons, allergy sufferers can expect itchy, watery eyes, and runny noses each time they venture outside. Indoor causes of inhaled allergies include pet dander, dust particles, and mold spores. For those who suffer from indoor allergies, keeping your home as free from dust and mold as possible is a good start in preventing your allergy symptoms. Certain dog and cat breeds also cause allergies when you inhale their pet dander, so those breeds should be avoided.

Allergies are not limited to the air, but can also be induced by food and beverages that people consume. One of the most common food allergies is the peanut, which can result in very severe reactions. Other common food allergies include shrimp, dairy, and certain fruits. In the case of food allergies, the body’s immune system mistakes a simple protein as a harmful agent.

A third type of allergen is one that is absorbed through the skin. This type of allergy is common to certain types of plants that do not release pollen into the air, but occur when the oil from the plant comes in direct contact with the skin. Poison ivy is a very common example, but skin allergies are not limited to plants. The latex in gloves can cause allergic reactions, as can certain dyes and chemicals found in deodorants and cosmetics. Exposure to a skin allergen will likely cause a rash which can range in severity based on the level of exposure.

Allergies Allergies