Allergies often bring to mind sneezing, a runny nose or watery eyes. While these are symptoms of some types of allergic disease, it’s important to understand that an allergic reaction is actually a result of a chain reaction that begins in your genes and is expressed by your immune system. Your immune system
controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, your immune system
identifies pollen as an invader or allergen. Your immune system
overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells
that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. This reaction usually causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin. Each type of IgE has specific "radar" for each type of allergen. That's why some people are only allergic to cat dander (they only have the IgE antibodies specific to cat dander); while others have allergic reactions to multiple allergens because they have many more types of IgE antibodies.t is not yet fully understood why some substances trigger allergies and others do not, nor why some people have allergic reactions while others do not. A family history
of allergies is the single most important factor
that puts you at risk of developing allergic disease.
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