- SaniAlergia. Allergist. Spain - http://sanialergia.com -

What is an Allergy?

What is an Allergy?

An allergy is the response of the body’s immune system to normally harmless substances, such as pollen, house dust mites, foods, medicines. Whilst in most people these substances (allergens) pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a ’threat’ and produces an inappropriate, exaggerated response.

Allergic individuals (having a genetic predisposition to atopy) produce specific levels of an antibody called IgE. The main function of this antibody is not to create allergic diseases. Its original purpose is the destruction of parasites.

However, in developed and affluent societies that have largely eradicated parasites there is a group of people with a genetic tendency to produce more IgE, and these would be the atopic population susceptible to manifesting allergic reactions.

When a patient has been sensitized (whose body has produced IgE by repeated exposure to an allergenic substance such as pollens, mites) the allergen binds to the IgE of mast cells and these explode releasing histamine and other inflammatory substances, causing the characteristic symptoms of an allergic response.

 How do allergic conditions originate?

We have already mentioned that there is a genetic predisposition in some people to produce more IgE, but in order to develop allergies, individuals need to be exposed to substances capable of producing an immune hypersensitivity response.

When one parent is allergic, the chance of the child having allergies is about 50% and about 70% when both parents are allergic. The substances which may cause allergy are called allergens and there are many types of them.

What is causing your allergy?

Allergology is the medical specialty concerned with allergic conditions, their diagnosis, avoidance measures and treatment.


Click on the image to download Global Atlas of Allergy.pdf (26 Mb.)

Click on the image to download Global Atlas of Allergy.pdf (26 Mb.)

 

 

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