Allergy is an immune response to a particular substance (not necessarily harmful). It may also be called a reaction within a body to a certain chemical. The substance that causes this allergic reaction is called allergen. Anything may serve as an allergen and the immune system takes it for a harmful one and starts to produce antibodies to protect the organism. The body may be allergic to a harmless substance as it doesn’t produce the necessary amount of enzyme to help the substance to be digested, for example.
The trigger may be any food, pollen, chemicals, conditioners, air fresheners, deodorants, dust, animals or insects.
Allergy worsens the sense of taste, smell, sight and touch.
Breathing problems, watery eyes, sneezing, running nose, sickness, rash/hives, itching, nausea, high temperature, cough, swelling, breathlessness, diarrhea re the symptoms of any allergy. There are different allergic disorders such as asthma, acute urticaria, perennial rhinitis, eczema, urticaria, seasonal rhinitis.
Reliever inhalers are used in patients having asthma. Blood tests (to measure the number of antibodies that have been produced by the immune system to attack allergen), skin prick tests, patch tests (patches are applied on the back for 48 hrs and then the reaction is observed) are often done in order to control an allergy. Skin prick tests are usually done first of all as they may provide some general information on the type of allergy and allergen, besides, it is simple and cheap.
In Europe allergy affects about 35% of all population.