Allergies are the body’s immune response when it reacts to a foreign substance. When these substances are not recognized — such as pollen, bee venom, pet dander, or certain foods — it produces a defense mechanism and a reaction occurs. At Dr. Emily Women's Health Center in the Longwood area of the Bronx, New York, the team can determine the cause of all your allergies. Allergic reactions can vary in severity. For some people it is only minor irritation or swelling, but for others is can be anaphylaxis, which then becomes a life-threatening emergency. Most allergies cannot be cured, but there are treatment options to help relieve symptoms.
Allergy symptoms depend on the substance involved. They can range from mild to severe, which includes blockage of airways and nasal passages, sinuses, skin irritation, and digestive problems. These reactions vary in effect and sometimes trigger anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction.
Symptoms of hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, can include:
Symptoms of food allergies can include:
Symptoms of insect string allergies can include:
Symptoms of drug allergies can include:
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin condition also called eczema, can cause skin to:
When the body does not recognize a harmless, foreign substance, it produces an allergic reaction because it believes the substance is a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular allergen. When one is exposed to the allergen again, these antibodies release different chemicals of the immune system, such as histamine, and cause allergy symptoms.
Common allergy triggers include:
Preventing allergic reactions depends on the type of allergy a person has. Some general precautionary measures one can take include the following: