UNDERSTANDING

ALLERGIES

WHAT TO KNOW
ABOUT ALLERGIES

Allergies are the result of an over-reactive immune system. *

When allergies occur, the immune system mistakenly identifies an allergen, such as pollen, as an “invader.” In response, the body mounts an inappropriate immune response—similar to one that it would launch against something much more harmful, such as the cold virus.

To rid itself of the “invader,” the immune response triggers a variety of symptoms—such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes—that you likely know all too well.

* IGE’s role in allergic asthma. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. http://www.aafa.org/page/allergies.aspx. Accessed May 23, 2014.

Here are 6 important facts you should know about allergies: 

  1. Allergies are caused when your immune system overreacts to triggers.
  2. An allergen is a substance that triggers an allergic reaction.
  3. The most common triggers are pollen, dust, and pet dander.
  4. You can have allergy symptoms all year round.
  5. The source of nasal allergy symptoms is in your nose.
  6. Your body produces at least 6 allergic substances in response to triggers. * 
*The exact number of substances is unknown.