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What Causes Allergies?

Allergy symptoms occur when your immune system overreacts to something that may be harmless to others, but triggers a reaction in anyone sensitive to it. This substance is known as an allergen.

Allergies may be seasonal or perennial.

When in contact with something you’re allergic to, your immune system considers it a danger and releases a chemical known as histamine to counteract it.

Common Allergens:

  • Weed or Grass Pollen
  • Dust Mites
  • Animal Dander
  • Mold
  • Insect Stings
  • Certain foods, such as eggs, shellfish, nuts and grains.

Allergy Symptoms:

  • Runny Nose
  • Skin Rash
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis (can be life-threatening)

If the allergen is one you breathe in, your reaction will affect your eyes, nose and lungs. If the allergen is something you consume, you’re more likely to have symptoms in your mouth, stomach and intestines.

Scheduling an appointment with a board-certified allergist can help determine the severity and cause of your allergies. The allergist will discuss your medical history and symptoms and may use blood or skin tests to find out whether you have an allergy and what the allergen is. Medications and/or immunotherapy may provide relief.

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