A worrying question: What are allergies?

Women with allergies Allergies are frustrating, irritating and in certain cases they might even endanger a person's life. In order to answer the question what are allergies we can tell you that people suffering from allergies have very strange reactions to factors that are not dangerous for the majority of people. If a person is allergic to a certain element, his or hers organism has the wrong impression that the respective substance might harm it.

Since there are so many people around suffering from various types of allergies it is normal to asks yourself the question: "What is the cause of an allergic reaction? "You have to know that an allergic reaction can be triggered by various types of foods among which the nuts, peanuts and eggs are the most common allergens, by pollen grains and dust, and even by medicines especially those based on penicillin. There are people who are allergic to insect bites and stings, as it is the case of the 0.4% of the world's population that has a severe reaction when stung by a honey bee.

So what is an allergy after all? Scientifically, the allergy is an adverse reaction to one or several environment proteins, like the ones that can be found on pets, in pollen grains or in nuts. These proteins are called allergens and usually they do no harm. If you have an allergy, then your body reacts to a specific allergen by releasing the histamine in the mast cells in your lungs, bowls and skin. This might cause the inflammation of the respective areas.

The term allergy comes from the Grek word "allos" (meaning "wrong") and "ergon"(meaning energy consumed for defence). In other words an allergic reaction consumes the energy that is normaly stored for the defence of the immune system.

The latest statistics have pointed out that nowadays one in four individuals is suffering from a type of allergy. If nothing changes, by 2020 every other individual will be suffering from some kind of allergic reaction.

The majority of people treat allergic reactions superficially. They believe that a simple sneeze, a running nose, tearing, nose and eyes itching or rash are not serious health issues when compared to severe diseases like cancer, severe infections or heart attacks. However, an allergy can be deadly if we take into consideration the severe allergic reactions that occur after a honey bee or wasp stung or after ingestion of certain foods and medicines. Believe it or not, these severe reactions are far from being rare.

Few people actually know that asthma, which is the most common chronic diseases in children, is most of times an allergic reaction which makes its debut as a common untreated allergic rhinitis or with respiratory infections often treated improperly with antibiotics.

If allergies do not kill a person, they definitely deteriorate his/her life. A child whose nose is clogged because of allergic rhinitis cannot sleep well, cannot focus on the learning process and most of times ends up isolated from the group since he/she must always blow his/her nose.

The life of allergic adults is not easy as well. It is very difficult to focus on your office task if you cannot breathe properly or if your skin itches beyond any bearable limit. It is really frustrating not being able to go for a picnic or into a hick because of asthma or having always to ask question about the ingredients in a dish, for fear they might contain eggs, milk or nuts. It is not easy to live with the fear that you might got stung by a bee or a wasp or that a tiny pill might send you directly to the emergency room.

However, if an allergic reaction is found in due time, its effects might be drastically reduced with the help of proper medication and a diet that strengthens the immune system. If people led a healthier life the answer to the question "what are allergies" would not bother them so much.

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