Allergies are your body’s reaction to a normally harmless substance such as pollen, molds, animal dander, latex, certain foods and insect stings. Allergy symptoms range from mild – rash or hives, itchiness, runny nose, watery/red eyes – to life-threatening. Treatments include antihistamines, decongestants, nasal steroids, asthma medicines and immunotherapy.
Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.
The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can’t be cured, treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.