When your body produces antibodies against common environmental substances, an allergic reaction is formed. The antibodies produce histamine that in turn cause the allergic reaction. This response is based on a healthy body function that is supposed to protect us against toxins in the environment. Some of these reactions are so severe they can cause anaphylatic shock, or in extreme cases, death. Some of these triggers are pollen, mold, certain foods, animal dander, or skin irritants.
Allergies are very common. Anyone, any age, can get them. You may develop them at a young age, or you may not have any at all until you are an adult. Allergies run in families. If your parents have them, you will too. If one of your parents has them, your odds go up. If they both have them, your chances will more than double. If neither parent has them , you can still develop them. although the chance is smaller. As many as 30% of adults, and 40% of children in the U.S. have allergies.
Allergies can affect your eyes, nose, and even your skin. Some people sneeze Others can break out in itchy hives, or have watery eyes. Allergies can cause asthma, sneezing, congestion, sinus headaches, inflamed nasal passages, red and itchy eyes.
There are different types of allergies:
Drug Allergy: an abnormal reaction to a certain medication.
Food Allergies: an abnormal reaction to certain foods or types of food, such as shellfish.
Contact Dermatitis: an abnormal skin rash caused by7 contact with certain substances.