What Is an Allergy?

Coughing, sneezing, wheezing. These are some of the most common symptoms people suffering from an allergy will have. You’ve heard people say they have allergies, but what does it really mean? What is an allergy and why does it happen? Often times, people do not think twice about this condition until their doctor recommends having an allergy test. There could be an underlying cause for your symptoms beyond the surface symptoms you are feeling.

Defining Allergy

An allergy is simply a reaction. Specifically, it occurs when a substance causes your immune system to react in the wrong way. Less defined, it is a reaction to a substance of some type that does not cause a reaction in most other people. It is important to ensure that you know allergies can be various degrees of severity. Some people have very mild and hard to notice symptoms. For others, the symptom can be life threatening.

Many people who suffer from allergies are often sensitive to more than one substance. However, it can be very different and a unique combination for each person. Some of the substances that cause the most reactions include the following:

  • Tree pollen
  • Insect stings, such as bee stings
  • Specific types of food
  • Dust mites
  • Mold spores
  • Medications
  • Pet dander

The body’s immune system is not supposed to react with these substances because we know that they tend to be safe for most people. However, for those that have an allergy, the immune system does react. The job of this very important system within the body is to fight off germs or invaders and for some reason, your body recognizes these substances as an invader. The reactions you have are often the result of the body’s immune system taking action to rid the body of that invader.

In most cases, allergies are brought on by hereditary factors or environmental factors. In most situations, we do not know what causes them to occur. However, when these symptoms become intense or severe, they can become very hard to manage on a day to day basis.

If you believe you may be suffering from an allergy, your initial family doctor may provide some insight. However, specific testing is often best when it is done by an allergist.

Schedule an appointment with the best allergist in New York City by contacting our office at 212-319-5282 and learn what steps you can take.

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