Allergies are your body’s response to typically innocuous chemicals. Allergy symptoms can range from moderate to fatal. Antihistamines, nasal steroids, decongestants, asthma medications, and immunotherapy are some available treatments. For more information, consult a Houston allergic reaction specialist today.
What are allergies?
Allergies are the immune system’s response to a foreign protein. These proteins (allergens) are usually harmless. However, if you are allergic to a certain protein, your body’s defense mechanism (immune system) overreacts to its presence.
What is an allergic reaction?
An allergic response is your body’s reaction to an allergen. If you have allergies, your body produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) the first time you come into contact with an allergen. Your immune system produces antibodies that combine to become IgE.
IgE antibodies bind to allergy cells or mast cells in your skin, airways or respiratory tract, and the mucus membranes in the hollow organs that connect your mouth to your stomach (GI or gastrointestinal tract).
Antibodies identify allergens in your body and help remove them by carrying them to the mast cell, where they attach to a particular receptor. This causes histamine to be released by the allergy cell. Histamine is the substance that produces allergic symptoms.
Are allergies common?
Allergies are quite prevalent. Every year, more than 50 million people in the United States experience an allergic response. In the United States, they are the sixth biggest cause of long-term disease.
Who is affected by allergies?
Anyone might be affected by allergies. You are more likely to acquire allergies if your biological parents are allergic.
Most common allergies
The following are the most frequently occurring allergies:
- Certain foods
Food allergies arise when your body produces an antibody towards a certain food. An allergic response begins minutes after ingesting the meal, with severe symptoms. Symptoms of an IgE-mediated food allergy may include anaphylaxis. It might manifest as any of the following symptoms or as a mix. It generally happens within 30 minutes of eating a meal you are allergic to.
Inhalant allergies are caused by airborne chemicals that you breathe in. They include allergies that can affect you yearly (perennial allergens) and seasonal allergens. Inhalant allergies can also provoke or aggravate asthma symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath.
Pollens are a cause of seasonal allergies. Pollen is a tiny dust of microspores from trees, grass, and weeds that appears on surfaces or floats in the air. Tree pollens arrive in the spring, whereas weed pollens appear in the fall.