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Do you have an allergy? Do you suddenly feel like your head would explode or your skin is burning due to the unexplainable itchiness that you feel? Needless to say, allergies can truly make you uncomfortable. Anyhow, what do you know about them? How do they attack? What causes them? Who gets prone to them? Where do the allergens come from? There are thousands of questions that may be lingering in your mind. Then again, you need some time to discover more about this body reaction. You must fairly understand that not all people tend to exhibit the same kind of reaction. There are those who are not allergic to certain foreign substances while there are others with bodies that tend to take them differently. This article is about to bring you more knowledge about allergens and their effects.

The Allergens at a Closer Look

Generally, allergens are everywhere. They take the forms of dust mites, pollens, grasses, foods, pet dander, to name a few. The allergens are known to be the special kinds of antigens which prompt the allergic reactions of the body. The body is technically protected by the immune system. Now if it recognizes some foreign invaders, a part of the immune system gets turned on and then starts to generate the antibodies to combat the foreign substances. This results to the allergic reactions.

The diseases and their symptoms actually depend on the route and level of entry and exposure of the body's susceptibility to the allergens. The allergens are comprised of various chemicals so the reaction is largely dependent on the part of the body that has been exposed. Simply put, the airborne pollens will produce a little effect when it gets in contact with the skin but it will be entirely different if the food allergens get ingested. In short, the allergens may be ingested as in the case of food allergens, inhaled as in the case of airborne pollens and animal dander, applied onto the skin, or injected into the body as in the case of an insect sting.

The Symptoms of Allergy

It is necessary that you come to know the symptoms of allergy so that you will be aware if you are already suffering from it. Basically, a person is said to have an allergy if his immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance.

There are two kinds of allergies that you must become familiar with. They are the perennial type as well as the seasonal type. The perennial type is the one that occurs for the whole year round whereas the seasonal type only breaks out at a certain time of the year. Of course there are measures to keep in mind.

It involves the need to stay away or avoid the allergens and that of applying some kind of medication. The symptoms involved likewise depend from one person to another. They are influenced by the triggering allergen and the way the body takes it.

The common effects of the allergies are mild to severe itching, shortness of breath, rashes, anaphylactic shock, coughing, sneezing, itchy nose, eyes, and throat, watery eyes, conjunctivitis, nasal congestion, swelling of nasal passages, and several others.

Young and old alike can exude them depending again on how their immune system reacts to these foreign substances.

Facts On Allergies

Allergies point to the exaggerated reaction as posed by the immune system as a response to any physical contact with the substances that seem foreign to the body. The reaction is labeled as exaggerated simply because the body itself deems these substances as harmless. At the same time, those who are non-allergic have non-responsive bodies. The reaction turns in when the body realizes that there are certain foreign substances that it gets in contact with and automatically a part of the immune system is activated.

Allergens and their Nature

The allergens are those that produce the allergy. Some known allergens include the dust mite, pollens, foods, dander, and molds, among others. Simply put, the allergens are those foreign substances which when it gets in contact with the body can cause the allergic reaction. However, not all individuals exude the exaggerated reaction. There are those who don't have the allergy on any of the above mentioned allergens.

The term allergic also goes by the name "atopic". It means that your immune system gets turned on as a response to the foreign substances that gets near your body. You develop that allergic reaction when your body inappropriately reacts to the allergens. Hence, you are called allergic or atopic if you are too prone to the allergy.

Allergy and its Etymology

The term "allergy" is rooted from the Greek words "allos" or changed or different and then "ergos" that means action or work. The word likewise points out the "altered reaction" which the body succumbs to. It was firstly used in the year 1905 to define the adverse reaction of the children who received multiple shots of horse serum to fight against infection.

Determining the Causes

There are several causes that provoke any kind of allergy to develop. It can be due to dust mite, food, pets, and many others. The reaction can be in the form of eye itching, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, skin itching, rash breakout, and the list goes on.

As you know, the body has the immune system which fights off the foreign organisms that get into the body or those which are otherwise termed as the "foreign invaders" or infections. The antigens then provoke the generation of the antibodies and depending on the internal process, they may result to allergic reactions.

Like the army, the immune system aims to ruin the enemy. The protective proteins which are known as antibodies mean to target those foreign invaders. The antibodies or immuno-globulins protectively reach towards the surface and call every immune cell to action. The different types of immuno-globulins are IgA, IgM, IgG, IgD, and IgE. The latter is the one that functions as the antibody.

The Ones at Risk

The rationale behind the question "Why are some people allergic while some are not?" can be further explained by heredity as one of the many factors. The same reaction can be passed on from one generation to another. It is to be made clear that you may not necessarily carry the same allergy or disease like what your parents have or sometimes you may not exhibit the symptoms. Another factor to blame is the environment. The exposure to allergen can provoke the allergic reaction.

Allergies may develop despite the age. In fact, some people get them while they are yet in the womb. Children can carry them towards their adulthood. Some individuals experience the breakout during their adult stage.

More On Allergies


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