Allergies are triggered by various allergy-causing substances (allergens) such as pollens, moulds, and animal dander. In the springtime, typical allergens are pollens that come from grasses and trees. During the rest of the year, other allergens such as pet dander, mites found within house dust, and moulds are common.

Most people who have allergies have inherited them; however, allergies can develop on their own later in life. People with allergies have an antibody called IgE (immunoglobulin E). This substance causes an excessive reaction to allergens. Typical allergy symptoms include repetitive and prolonged sneezing, runny or plugged nose, itchy, watery, red or swollen eyes, and itchy throat. Other common allergic reactions include skin and intestinal problems, such as hives, itchiness, rashes, diarrhea, and headache.

Are allergies life-threatening?

Allergies are rarely life-threatening, but serious allergic reactions can occur. These include swelling of the respiratory passages, shortness of breath, and anaphylactic reaction. People who suffer from allergies have an increased chance of developing respiratory infections and may be more susceptible to developing asthma. The majority of allergy sufferers are affected by reduced efficiency in daily activities, decreased energy levels, and a reduced quality of life.

Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team