Causes of allergies
Researchers aren’t exactly sure why the immune system causes an allergic reaction when a normally harmless foreign substance enters the body.
Allergies have a genetic component. This means parents can pass them down to their children. However, only a general susceptibility to allergic reaction is genetic. Specific allergies aren’t passed down. For instance, if your mother is allergic to shellfish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be, too.
Common types of allergens include:
Animal products. These include pet dander, dust mite waste, and cockroaches.
Drugs. Penicillin and sulfa drugs are common triggers.
Foods. Wheat, nuts, milk, shellfish, and egg allergies are common.
Insect stings. These include bees, wasps, and mosquitoes.
Mold. Airborne spores from mold can trigger a reaction.
Plants. Pollens from grass, weeds, and trees, as well as resin from plants such as poison ivy and poison oak, are very common plant allergens.
Other allergens. Latex, often found in latex gloves and condoms, and metals like nickel are also common allergens.
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, are some of the most common allergies. These are caused by pollen released by plants. They cause :
Food allergies are becoming more common. Find out about the most common types of food allergies and the symptoms they cause.
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