What is an Allergy?

Allergy is an abnormal response to an allergen. Allergens may be contained in pollens, molds, animal skin cells, house dust, insects, medications, or even foods such as fish, eggs, milk, wheat and nuts. These allergens cause trouble when they are inhaled, swallowed or injected into the body. Your body protects you from things that can make you sick like bacteria, viruses and allergies. For example, if you smell pepper, your body will sneeze right away, getting rid of it. Our bodies tell us when something bothers us by signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of Allergy:

Runny nose, sneezing, congestion, itchy skin, headaches, and cough

Pollens: Powder made from and released in air by trees, grasses and weeds

Molds: Fungi species (yeast, mushrooms, cheese)

Foods: Eggs, milk, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, shellfish

Food allergies generally develop early in life but can develop at any age. Children usually outgrow their egg, milk and soy allergies, but people who develop allergies as adults usually have their allergies for life.

Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but adults can have asthma too. If your asthma is triggered by Allergies, you can control the allergies therefore keeping asthma under control.

Triggers of Asthma: allergens, irritants, medicines, sulfites, physical activities.

Symptoms of Asthma: Cough, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, wheezing

It is very important that if you or a family member cannot speak a full sentence without inhaling; seek immediate medical attention. Asthma should never be taken lightly.

It is easy to find out if you have allergies and to what. Allergy testing takes about 20 minutes and can be done by skin test and blood work.

Written by Ruby Rios, LVN, BFHC