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
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
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
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
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