Allergies are the result of a chain reaction that starts in the immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. If you have an allergy to a substance, such as a type of pollen, your immune system identifies the pollen as an invader. In an allergic individual, the immune system overproduces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E. These antibodies attach to an allergen (such as pollen) and also attach to cells that release chemicals (such as histamine) causing an allergic reaction (generally termed allergic rhinitis).


Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases. A chronic disease lasts a long time or occurs often. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. When someone has allergies, their immune system makes an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies respond to allergens. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction.

AAFA has a lot of information on our site to help you learn more about allergies. Also consider joining a local support group or contacting a regional chapter if one is in your area.

What Are the Types of Allergens?

  • Drug (medicine)
  • Food
  • Insects that sting (bee, wasp, fire ant); bite (mosquito, tick); or are household pests (cockroach and dust mite)
  • Latex
  • Mold
  • Pet (dog or cat urine, saliva and dander)
  • Pollen

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?

The most common allergy symptoms can simply make you uncomfortable. For example, you may have watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, a rash or hives. Other more serious symptoms, like trouble breathing and swelling in your mouth or throat, may be a life-threatning reaction called anaphylaxis (“anna-fih-LACK-sis”).


Additional Information


Have Questions?

Our staff is available to take your calls Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm. You are also welcome to drop in to set up an appointment during normal office hours. To schedule an initial appointment with one of our audiologists, you may give us a call directly at (210) 696-4327 (HEAR). We look forward to hearing from you! “Better HEARing for a better life.