Back to Basics: What Are Allergies?

Sometimes we all need a refresher or a reminder of what actually qualifies as an allergy.

To put it in the simplest terms, allergies are an overreaction within your immune system to everyday substances that normally do not cause reactions within most people. These substances usually trigger sneezing, wheezing, coughing, itching and even headaches. Allergies are annoying and can sometimes be linked to a variety of common and even serious chronic respiratory illnesses.

When diagnosing allergies, your doctor considers all factors including family history, frequency and types of symptoms, duration, seasonality and even the location of the symptoms. Allergies are grouped by several factors: time of year, where symptoms appear on the body, food, latex, insect, skin, eye and even what triggers them to occur.

There is hope. With proper management and patient education, your allergies can be controlled and you can still live a healthy and active life!