What Causes Allergies?

Allergies develop when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance like pet dander, pollen or bee venom. Immune system of your body produces a substance called antibodies. Some antibodies protect one from unwanted invaders which cause infections. If you are allergic to some substances, immune system develops antibodies which identify an allergen, even though it is not an allergen. The immune system reacts to these allergens by showing some symptoms like digestive problems, sinus congestion, skin rashes or nasal congestion. Read on to know more about the causes of allergies.

What Causes Allergies?

Almost everything causes allergic reactions. Following are some of the causes of allergies:

  • When your body is exposed to an allergen, then a set of reactions develop.
  • The immune system of your body has lymphoid cells that produce antibodies.
    • Lymphoid cells produce antibodies particularly for that antigen, referred to as sensitization.
    • Antibodies detect and destroy the substances that trigger allergic reactions.
  • Antibodies promote production and release of the hormones and chemicals known as mediators.
    • Histamine is the most common mediator.
    • Mediators have impact on the afflicted tissues and organs apart from activating lymphoid cells. This impact causes allergies.
    • If the mediators are released suddenly or extensively then the allergic reaction may also be severe and sudden.
  • The allergic reactions may be unique to you. For instance, your body may develop allergic reactions to poison ivy if you are exposed to it repeatedly.
  • Some people are aware of their allergy causes.
    • Poison ivy, animal dander, mold, pollen, dust, shellfish, aspirin, latex rubber, medications, vaccines and some foods are some allergens.
    • Peanuts, penicillin, dire ant stings and bee stings trigger dramatic reactions which are severe and can spread to other parts of the body.
    • Exercise, cold or hot temperatures, minor injuries and sometimes even emotions cause allergies.
    • It is difficult to identify a particular allergen until you have a similar reaction in past.
  • Allergies can sometimes be hereditary.
  • Most people who suffer from one allergy may also suffer with other allergies.
  • People suffering from health conditions may also suffer from allergies. They include:
    • Sensitive skin
    • Frequent infections of respiratory tract, ears or nasal sinuses
    • Nasal polyps
    • Lung disorders which afflict breathing like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Asthma
    • An allergic reaction in past

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