Achoo! So what is an allergy? 29th August 2023 – Tags: , , , , ,

With the ongoing summer period, many plants begin to bloom. Unfortunately, this process then involves the production of a large amount of pollen, which is then carried by bees to disseminate certain plant species. Why unfortunately? Many of us suffer from a condition called allergy, which is very often caused by contact with various types of pollen. However, allergies are not limited to plant pollens. What are the other types of allergies and what is this process?

What is an allergy?

Allergy is a process related to the hypersensitivity of the body to some of the factors. Allergy triggers are usually harmless to other people, but people with a particular condition have a more sensitive immune system to them.

What is an allergic reaction?

In simple words, it is how the body reacts to an allergen. If a person suffering from allergies encounters a given allergen for the first time, his body will produce immunoglobulin E – the immune system produces antibodies by creating IgE. The IgE antibodies then bind to mast cells that are found in the skin, respiratory tract, and mucous membranes of some organs. The antibodies find allergens in the body and transfer them to mast cells, where they attach to special receptors. This causes the release of histamine, which causes allergic symptoms.

Infected eye
Infected eye

The most common symptom associated with an allergic reaction is redness and watery eyes.

What are the symptoms of allergies?

  • Breathing problems
  • Skin itching
  • Runny nose
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Headache
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Rash

Anaphylactic reaction:

The most serious result of an allergic reaction is an anaphylactic reaction, which is life and health threatening. It is manifested by loss of consciousness, drop in blood pressure, shortness of breath, rash, dizziness, vomiting. This reaction can also turn into a life-threatening anaphylactic shock.


Adrenaline is the most commonly used drug for anaphylactic shock. In case of shock, it is given to the patient by subcutaneous injection.

What are the most common causes of allergies?

There are many allergens that surround us in everyday life. The most common of them are:

  • Food allergies – many allergies are caused by a variety of foods. Consuming food that causes allergies in us can have many serious consequences. The most common symptoms of ingestion of an unwanted product are: itching all over the body, itching in specific parts of the body, vomiting and nausea, rash, swelling around the mouth, tongue and throat. One of the more serious effects of eating an allergen is an anaphylactic reaction, which is life threatening. The most common food allergies are caused by: milk, eggs, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, shellfish
  • Allergies caused by volatile substances – Allergies related to these allergens appear after inhalation of substances in the air. The most common allergens are: proteins contained in animal fur, urine and saliva, mites, mold, and proteins contained in feces, saliva and cockroach eggs, and plant pollen
  • Latex allergy
  • Allergy to insect bites – most often occurs after being stung by bees, hornets, wasps, and fire ants. The reaction occurs when insects secrete a toxin into the body, which causes respiratory disorders, rashes, swelling of the face, mouth and throat, and many other dangerous symptoms

Allergy tests

The most common test showing that we are allergic to a certain allergen is the skin test and blood test. A skin test involves placing a small amount of allergens on a patch of skin. If there is a reaction, mainly redness, in a given place where the allergen has been applied, the test gives a positive result for the given substance. During the blood test, the content of IgE antibodies, which are produced by the immune system in an allergic reaction against a specific protein, is assessed.

What is an allergy
What is an allergy
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