What are allergies?

Allergy is the term used to define the immunological sensitivity of an individual towards an allergen (an irritating substance which causes  allergies).

This may come as a consequence of:

  1. The inhalation of allergens
  2. Consuming food which may contain allergens

Upon entry into the organism, they cause a cascade of chemical reactions which lead to the appearance of allergic symptoms.

  • Sneezing
  • Runny, inflamed nose
  • Itchiness in the eyes
  • Teary, red eyes
  • Coughing
  • Itchiness of the roof of the mouth
  • Bronchial asthma symptoms

Allergies may emerge in the very first months of one’s life. If one of the parents of a child suffer from an allergy, the child has a 40% chance of developing an allergy, and if both parents suffer from an allergy the chance increases to 80% chance.

An important role in determining the chances one has for developing an allergy is assigned to environmental factors.

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 22 Aug 2017
Medical Author: Dr. med. Diana Hysi