Allergies are a common chronic health condition. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and some allergies can even put you at risk for life-threatening reactions.
Our immune system protects us from many things that can cause illness. If you have an allergy, however, your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader. That substance is called an allergen. The immune system overreacts to the allergen, eventually causing an allergic reaction.
Many of these allergic reactions can affect your ability to Breathe Well, because you may experience symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat or sinuses. For some people, allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma. In the most serious cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) can occur.
A number of different allergens are responsible for allergic reactions. The most common include:
- Insect stings
- Animal dander
If you have allergy symptoms, you might be referred to a medical specialist called an allergist. An allergist has advanced training to properly diagnose your condition and prescribe a treatment and management plan to help you feel better and live better.
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
- U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH)