What are allergies?

Allergic reactions happen when the immune system reacts to harmless things such as dust, mold, pollen, or food, collectively are called allergens.

What causes allergies?

Allergens can be breathed, swallowed, or come in contact with the skin. The body produces antibody called immunoglobulin E or IgE. They target these Allergens to trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine, cytokines, and leukotrienes. These chemicals then cause allergy symptoms.
The most common allergens are:

Who is at risk for allergies?

Allergies can affect anyone, at any age, or come back after many years of remission.
Allergies often run in families. In sensitive people, things such as hormones, stress, smoke, perfume, or other environmental irritants may also play a role. Allergy symptoms often grow slowly over time.
You may become used to constant symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, or wheezing. You may not think that the symptoms are abnormal. But these symptoms can often be stopped or controlled with the help of a doctor who specializes in treating allergies (allergist).

What are allergy symptoms?

Symptoms will differ based on the type and amount of allergen you have encounter. It also depends on how your body’s immune system reacts to that allergen.
An allergic reaction can happen anywhere in the body. This includes the skin, eyes, stomach lining, nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs. Allergic reactions can cause these symptoms:

How are allergies diagnosed?

To diagnose an allergy, your healthcare provider will give you an exam and review your health history. He or she may also do these tests:
See your healthcare provider about any positive test result. He or she can tell you about the tests and knows your health history.

How are allergies treated?

Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) and medicine are effective ways treat allergies.

Allergy shots (immunotherapy)

Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are used to treat people who have hay fever (allergic rhinitis), conjunctivitis, or asthma. They are also used for people with a stinging insect allergy (bee venom allergy). A mixture of the many allergens to which you are allergic is made. It is injected into your arm on a weekly basis until a maximum dose is reached. Then the number of injections is decreased over time.
Most people get better with allergy shots. It often takes about 12 to 18 months before you notice a clear reduction in symptoms. Some people see improvement in 6 to 8 months.
Allergy shots are only part of the treatment plan for people with allergies. It takes time for allergy shots to become effective. So you will need to stay on the allergy medicines as prescribed by your healthcare provider. It is also important to keep allergens (such as dust mites) under control in your surroundings.
A newer type of immunotherapy is called SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy). It can be taken by mouth daily at home. It is an effective alternative to allergy shots. But it is currently only available for a few allergens.


For people who suffer from allergies, there are many medicines that work well. Nasal sprays work to decrease nasal congestion, stuffiness, and post nasal drip. Antihistamines?are helpful for itchiness and hives. Decongestants?are used to treat stuffiness in the nose and other symptoms linked to colds and allergies. But overuse of decongestants can be linked to rebound congestion or high blood pressure. Using medicines for asthma or allergy breathing symptoms is tailored for each person based on the severity of the symptoms.
Talk with your?healthcare provider for more information about allergy medicines.

What are possible complications of allergies?

Anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis can happen in extreme cases. Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening reaction to certain allergens. Body tissues may swell, including tissues in the throat. It?can also cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
Anaphylaxis can be caused by an allergic reaction to a medicine, food, serum, bug venom, allergen extract, or chemical. Pollen, pets, dust, and mold allergies are unlikely to cause anaphylaxis. Some people who are aware of their allergic reactions or allergens carry epinephrine autoinjectors. This medicine can be used to treat severe allergic reaction. It can also prevent anaphylactic shock from foods, stinging insects, and other allergens. It does this by improving circulation, contracting blood vessels, and opening up the airways in the lungs. It also increases the rate and force of the heartbeat.

Living with allergies

Staying away from allergens is a very effective way to treat allergies. Tips for avoiding allergens include:

Key points about allergies

Next steps

If you need further information and obtain a second opinion please download the app "Obur Health PA" from the App Store or call 832-730-4479
download on the app store or call 832-730-4479