There are many types of allergies, and studying them all at once is quite confusing. It takes three years for a pediatrician to sub specialize in Allergology, the study of allergy. Since allergy is quite common especially among young kids, also it is important also that parents be aware of what causes them and the best ways to avoid them.
An allergy may either be inherited or acquired. If one of your parents has some form of allergy, you may have a 25-33% chance of having an allergy, and if both your parents have allergies, it is highly likely that you do as well. This tendency to become allergic (to something) is called atopy. However, even if none of your parents have allergies, the environment still plays an important role, as some people acquire allergies by repeated exposure to an allergen.
Simply put, an allergy is immunity gone wrong. It is caused by the body’s immune system overreacting to a substance that is harmless to most people. The symptoms will depend on how the body reacts to the type of allergen.
When a person with atopy is exposed to an allergen, the body detects this as an invader and mobilizes an attack. The body’s immediate reaction would be to release a substance called histamine which causes inflammation, manifested either in breathing, as stomach problems or on the skin.
Aero Allergens. These are air-borne particles that cause respiratory symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, colds, and sometimes breathing problems like wheezing and throat or chest tightness. For people with asthma, these aero allergens are dangerous triggers for an asthma attack. Examples of these are dust mites, pollen, pet dander (tiny pet hairs) and waste products of insects.