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What Are Allergies?

Allergies are often characterized by sneezing, a runny nose or watery eyes, and itching skin. While these are all symptoms of different types of allergic disease, an allergic reaction is the result of several events occurring within you immune system — your body’s natural defense mechanism.

The term ‘allergen’ refers to any substance that can trigger an allergic response, including pollen, mould, and animal dander, and cockroach and dust mite droppings. There are a number of types of major allergic disease, including Allergic rhinitis, or ‘hay fever’; Allergic conjunctivitis; Atopic dermatitis (allergic skin reactions); Urticaria; and severe allergic reactions to substances such as food, latex, medications and insect stings.

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