How does allergy happen?
Allergens can enter the body through many routes: via the skin, they can be ingested in the digestive system, or they can be inhaled. There's usually a genetic predisposition when it comes to allergies. Members of the same family who have allergies have a higher chance of its development.
When the allergen enters the body, it is recognized as a foreign and harmful substance and triggers the production of an antibody called IgE.
This brings up another complex series of processes: degranulation of some special cells called mast cells and basophils and to the production of histamine which is responsible for most of the symptoms of allergies (the mucus production, coughing, etc).
5 Most Common Allergens
- Airborne allergies
The most common airborne allergen is pollen, which causes what we all know as hay fever. The second most common is household dust mite. And then you have animal dander from dogs and cats. And you can also get mold spores. These are the four airborne allergens.
- Food allergies
The most common food allergens are egg whites, cow's milk (learn how this kind of allergy differs from lactose intolerance), soy, wheat, nuts, fish and shellfish, and less commonly corn.
- Insect stings allergies
Insect allergies are quite common. If you live in a country where it's quite warm and there are a lot of flowers, bees and wasps and allergy to their stings are pretty common.
- Medicine allergies
Medicine allergies are also quite common. There are a lot of kids who have allergic tendencies, and they could also be allergic to penicillin. Penicillin allergy is still very common. And the prevalence is increasing for a complex number of reasons.
- Chemical allergies
Latex is the number one chemical to talk about. It's still pretty common and a lot of practices and hospitals now use latex-free gloves.
And, I also want to add nickel allergy. Some people who already have allergic tendencies, also have nickel allergy as some jewelry and belt buckles contain nickel.