What are the General Causes of Allergies?

Causes of AllergiesBefore discussing an what are the causes of an allergy is, it is important to understand what allergy exactly is. An allergy is a reaction to something outside your body that the body ‘feels’ as a threat! To deal with this the body’s immunity system over-reacts, causing excessive irritation.

Everyone has allergies as everyone’s body always views outside agents like pollen, grass, weeds and even foods as invaders. The difference between suffering from allergies and not is the degree to which one’s body reacts or in case of sufferers, overreacts to the allergen.

Let’s take hay fever season. In this season pollen count will be especially high. The persons with normal immune system won’t react to the pollen even if its count is high. But in case of persons with an overactive immune system, they will begin to sneeze. The eyes may start watering. They may even have trouble breathing. This is all because their immune system views the pollen as a great threat.

What Causes Allergies?

What causes of allergies? Allergies are caused when our body mistakes a harmless substance such as pollen, dander etc. as harmful and reacts to it. But let us know why some people have immune systems that behave normally while others have immune systems that overreact. Here are the factors which cause allergies:

  • Heredity:

    Research studies show that, in most cases, it is because they are genetically disposed to reacting in such a manner. They may inherit this particular predisposition from their father or mother.

  • Weakened immune system:

    If allergies are not inherited, a person’s immune system does not work correctly or becomes weakened due to some other condition. It may be because he is a poor eater and not getting the nutrition that is needed to stay healthy. This can make the immune system weak and cause it to behave erratically. The immune system may be weakened by another underlying problem like inability of the body to absorb a certain amino acid or protein.

  • Hygiene hypothesis:

    According to hygiene hypothesis, being excessively clean or protected is the cause of allergies. Lack of exposure to parasites, microorganisms may affect the development of the immune system. According to this theory, this is the reason people in industrialized nations (where hygiene is important) have more allergies than people in non-industrialized nations, who are exposed more dust and parasites.

In any of the above cases, the immune system becomes hyperactive. It makes the immune system identify quite harmless substances as enemies and react totally out of proportion to the threat itself. In some cases, it may severely react and cause some serious health problems. People may even die from allergies.

There is a general presumption that if there is a genetic disposition to allergies nothing can be done to solve this problem. But, in reality, it is actually not so. In many ways one can naturally build up his or her immune system to keep safe from allergy problems. You can learn these things in detail from your physician.