How do Inhaled Allergens Work?

Inhaled allergens are considered to be the most common form of allergies. When pollen, grass particles or household pet dander is inhaled, you get a runny nose, itching or congestion. Why does this happen? This article will explain how do inhaled allergens work.

What happens when allergen is inhaled?

You will get allergy symptoms when you come into contact with a substance your body is sensitive to. The reason that you get symptoms in your nose when you get an allergic reaction is related to histamines. This chemical produces the reaction against the allergen in the body. Histamines, once released, cause the blood vessels in the nose to dilate. This results in swelling, inflammation and redness. This makes for a runny and itchy nose.

Why are histamines released during an allergic reaction?

The release of histamines is most commonly related to an antibody called immunoglobulin E or IgE. The body sensitivity to the allergen causes the release of the antibody IgE. This substance binds to mast cells in the nose where histamine is stored. This is what then causes histamine to be released. This is how you get allergy symptoms.

The body can contain several different sets of IgE antibody. If you have many of these antibodies your reaction to the allergy is going to stronger than if the amount of them is less.


Asthma is an allergic reaction produced by inhalation. With asthma the reaction happens in the airways instead of just the nose.

Typical asthma triggers:

Animal dander
Dust mites
Cockroach particles


The most common treatment for allergy symptoms is antihistamines. This is because antihistamines stop the reaction, which causes the histamine release. This is why they provide relief for allergy symptoms. They do not cure the allergy, but temporarily alleviate allergic symptoms. They should only be used temporarily because of side effects like drowsiness.

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