About 20% of Americans suffer from allergies.
Allergies are a response to the environment around you. Chemicals get released into the bloodstream and trigger symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose.
What Causes Allergies?
When bacteria and germs enter your body, your immune system attacks these substances. Allergies come from the immune system responding in an overprotective way to a harmless substance. Antibodies are produced whenever your body encounters allergens. These antibodies trigger the release of histamines which is a chemical that is responsible for the symptoms of allergies.
What Are The Symptoms Of Allergies?
Allergies can be seasonal or year round. Hay fever caused by pollen is the most common seasonal allergy. Symptoms include:
- Stuffy/runny nose
- Itchiness in the nose and throat
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Pressure in the ears
Year-round allergies produce the same symptoms, but come from things like mold, dust mites, smog, smoke, and pet dander. Insect bites and stings also fall into this section. They can produce a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
How Are Allergies Treated?
Medications are available to help with the allergies and provide symptom relief. If allergies do not respond to medical treatment, then a person may be given immunotherapy (allergy shots) to try to build up one’s tolerance to the offending substance. These shots occur through several injections for several years.