Winter is barely over and for many Spring is not the glorious season of hope and growth, but weeks of itchy eyes, stuffy noses and congestion. Allergies affect a large portion of the population. So what causes allergies?
When you’re allergic to something, your immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harmful to your body. (Substances that cause allergic reactions, such as certain foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines, are known as allergens.) The immune system produces IgE antibodies to fight these foreign invaders. These antibodies release histamine into your blood stream. Histamine causes the reactions in your nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract and causes the symptoms of the allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can be mild, like a runny nose, or they can be severe, like difficulty breathing. An asthma attack, for example, is often an allergic reaction to something that is breathed into the lungs by a person who is susceptible.
Some types of allergies produce multiple symptoms, and in rare cases, an allergic reaction can become very severe and a person can go into anaphylaxis which can be life threatening if not taken care of properly