Home » Diseases & Conditions » Allergy » Allergy – Definition and Types of Allergies

Allergy – Definition and Types of Allergies

Allergy is an abnormal immune system response to things that are generally harmless to most people. When you’re allergic to something, your immune system may incorrectly believes that this substance is harmful to your body. Substances that cause allergic response, such as certain foods, dust, drugs or pollen are known as allergens.

A research from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that more than half of U.S. people (54.6 percent) tested positive for one or more allergens.

In an effort to protect the body, the immune system produces proteins called IgE antibodies to against that allergen. The antibodies then cause certain cells in the body to release chemicals into the bloodstream, one of which is histamine.

The histamine then acts on the eyes, skin, nose, lungs, throat, or digestive tract and cause the symptoms of allergies. Future exposure to that same allergy will trigger an antibody response again. This means that every time you come into contact with allergens, you will have allergies symptoms.

allergies symptoms

Types of Allergies

Common types of allergies include:

  • Food Allergy: An uncommon response to a food triggered by your body’s immune system. Allergic reactions to food can sometimes cause serious disease.
  • Cigarette Smoke Allergy: An Allergy caused by the numerous toxic chemicals and irritants found in cigarette smoke.
  • Dust Mite Allergy: Dust mites are the most common causes of allergy from house dust. They include the family of eight-legged creatures called arachnids which includes spiders, chiggers and ticks. High levels of exposure to dust mite may cause asthma in children.
  • Grass Pollen Allergy: One of the major irritants for those who suffer with hay fever. Grass Pollen is usually the dominant pollen in the air during the summer. Allergies to pollen can cause itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose, as well as asthma in some people.
  • Tree Pollen Allergy: Allergy to certain types of tree pollen. Triggers of tree pollen allergy can be hard to avoid or prevent since trees release large amounts of pollen that can be distributed miles away.
  • Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis): An allergic inflammation of the nasal airways. It occurs when an allergen such as dust or pollen is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system, and triggers antibody production.
  • Latex Allergy: An allergic reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product manufactured from a milky fluid that comes from the rubber tree.
  • Mold Allergy: Mold also known as fungus, is a family of organisms that are found throughout nature. Molds are also well known to cause various allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.
  • Pet Allergy: A allergic reaction to animal dander, saliva, urine or feces. Although animal fur itself is not a significant allergen, it can collect pollens, mold spores and other outdoor allergens.
  • Ragweed Allergy: Common allergy caused by Ragweed pollen which is released by the Ragweed Plant which is a flowering plant from the sunflower family. Ragweed is also known as blood weeds or bitter weeds in some regions and it can come in common and also giant form.