Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance that usually do not cause reactions in the most people – take for instance, pollen, a common allergen. This happens as a result of the antibodies produced by your immune system. Antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that can make you sick or cause infection.

When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses airways or digestive system.

The severity of allergies, varies from person to person and can range from minor imitation to anaphylaxis – a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies, do not have any cures, a number of treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.


FOOD: Occurs in minutes or within two hours of indigestion. In very rare causes, the reaction may be delayed by four to six hours or even longer. Triggers include eggs, milk, peanuts, fish shellfish, wheat and soy.

LATEX: Usually develops after repeated exposure to latex products, including balloons or medical gloves. Symptoms begin within minutes of exposure to latex  products direct physical contact is not needed to trigger and allergic reaction.

DUST: Symptoms often worsen during or immediately after vacuuming, sweeping and dusting. The process of cleaning can stir up dust particles, and result in higher incidence of inhaling the particles. Triggers include dust mites, cockroaches, mold, pollen, pet hair or feathers.

INSECTS: The severity of an insect sting reaction varies from person to person and from one sting to the next – ranging from rashes to anaphylaxis, a serious medical emergency. Triggers include the stings of five insects known to cause allergic reactions – honeybees, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets and fire ants.

PETS: Cats and dogs produce multiple allergens, commonly found on the fur, skin and in their saliva. Allergy symptoms range from mild to sever, depending on an individual’s sensitivity and the level of exposure to allergens. These factors influence how quickly symptoms develop after exposure. For instance, highly sensitive people can develop symptoms, including breathing problems or a rash, within minutes of touching a cat or dog or entering a house with a cat or dog.


In rare cases, an allergy can lead to severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening. This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposures to something you allergic to.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms here. Swelling of the throat and mouth: difficulty breathing: light-headed; confusion; blue skin or lips; collapsing and losing consciousness.