What Are Allergies?

Clarksville Allergy Family Allergy Treatment Allergies are a hypersensitive immune response to contact with a variety of things from pet dander and pollen to insect stings. Allergens are the substances that cause the allergic reactions. Allergens can be found in drinks, foods, or the environment. Most people are not affected by the majority of allergens. Even people that suffer from allergies are typically only bothered by particular allergens. If a person is allergic to a certain allergen, their body reacts as if it were a pathogen (a harmful foreign substance) and tries to destroy it. Thus causing hay fever symptoms. Approximately 20% of the people in the United States suffer from some degree of pollen allergy each year. The world population is showing a rise in allergies.

When a person first comes in contact with an allergen, a reaction is not immediate. A person's immune system will slowly build up sensitivity before attacking and overreacting to it. The immune system will take time to recognize and remember the allergy. As the body become sensitive to it, it will begin producing antibodies to attack it. This progression is called sensitization. This process can take as long as several years, or as few as a couple of days. In many cases, this sensitization process never fully finishes before the person begins to experience some of the symptoms. People that have airborne allergies may experience common hay fever symptoms including stuffy nose, itchy nose, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, swollen and watery eyes.

What are the causes of allergies?

Allergens are not harmful to the body, although the immune system reacts as if it was an undesirable bacterium, fungus, toxin, or virus. The immune system is just simply oversensitive to that substance. When the immune system reacts it begins releasing a type of antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). The release of this antibody causes the body to produce chemicals; allergic reactions are caused by these newly released chemicals. Histamine is one of the most common chemicals released during a reaction. Mucus production, tightening of the muscles in the airways and blood vessels are characteristics of histamine.

Most Common Airborne Allergens

Tree Allergens

Tree Allergies

Though there are other types of tree allergens, the most common is tree pollen. Trees typically begin pollination in late winter or early spring. They release a fine powdery substance that is carried by the wind. A person with tree allergies does not need to be in close proximity to the tree they are allergic to, as the wind can carry the pollen for miles.

Tree Allergies that Clarksville Allergy tests for and creates personal treatment plans for using home based immunotherapy:

Grass Allergens

Grass Allergies

People with grass allergies can be bothered when the grasses begin releasing pollen in late spring and early summer. Grass allergies can also reappear in early fall. Typically you can see grass pollen when it is resting on items outside. However, you will not see it floating in the air. If you have a grass allergy, your body will typically react to even small amounts.

Grass Allergies that Clarksville Allergy tests for and creates personal treatment plans for using home-based immunotherapy:

Weed Allergens

Weed Allergies

Weed pollen is produced from late summer to early fall. People with weed allergies will be most affected during this time when pollen is released in the air. Ragweed tends to be the most common weed allergen of all.

Weed Allergies that Clarksville Allergy tests for and creates personal treatment plans for using home-based immunotherapy:

Mold Allergens

Mold Allergies

Molds, or fungi, are widespread in natural environments. Mold spores are a large cause of nasal allergies. Unlike many of the other airborne allergens, mold can be found inside and out. Mold will grow quickly in dark moist places. People are typically exposed to mold spores on a daily basis, people with mold allergies will have a reaction if they are exposed to too much of the fungus.

Mold Allergies that Clarksville Allergy tests for and creates personal treatment plans for using home-based immunotherapy:

Pet Allergens

Pet Allergies

More than 60% of U.S. households have pets, typically a cat or dog. Unfortunately, millions of pet owners have an allergy to their animal. Pet dander, skin flakes, saliva, and urine can contain a protein that will cause an allergic reaction. As an added bonus, pet hair or fur can carry pollen, spores, and other outdoor allergens. The most common pet allergens are found in cats, dogs, cattle, birds, horses, and guinea pigs.

Mold Allergies that Clarksville Allergy tests for and creates personal treatment plans for using home-based immunotherapy:

  • Cat
  • Cattle
  • Dog
  • Feathers
  • Guinea Pig
  • Horse

Indoor Allergens

Home Allergies

Indoor allergens can include dust mite droppings, animal dander, insect droppings, and molds. Indoor allergies can be controlled by working to control the areas that you pet has access to, washing bedding weekly, spraying for insects, and keeping a clean house. These steps are no guarantee to fight off all indoor allergens, but they may help.

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