An allergy is an abnormal sensitivity or exaggerated reaction of the immune system to a substance. The substance that triggers the allergy is known as an allergen. The body’s immune system mistakes these allergens as harmful foreign invaders. When exposed to the specific allergen the body makes an antibody, a protein called IgE, that in turn creates your symptoms or reactions.
An allergic reaction typically triggers symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin. Reactions can range from annoying to life threatening.
A number of different allergens are responsible for allergic reactions, but the most common include:
• Insect stings
• Animal dander