What is an allergy?

An allergy is an excessive defense reaction by the immune system in response to substances the body erroneously considers harmful. The mistake occurs when the immune system is first confronted with the substance, i.e., the foreign substance is not only recognized as being not compatible with the body, but  the reaction is also “disproportionate” to the perceived danger. Thus, the immune system remembers the foreign agent, but produces an excess of antibodies ready for a massive attack should it come contact with the substance again (sensitization process).

Mechanisms of an allergy

It is not yet possible to determine with absolute precision the reason for the immune system’s "error" . It is not yet possible to ascertain who is at risk and who is not. We do know that the time between initial contact with the substance and the “unleashing” of symptoms is not the same for all patients, as it can vary from a few days up to several years.

Allergies have a significant inherited component. About 30% of children who have an allergic parent may develop the same kind of allergic phenomena, even  in adulthood.

Allergy symptoms

Allergies can affect anyone at any age, whether male or female.

Symptoms may affect one or more apparatus simultaneously.

In particular, the most annoying allergic manifestations are:

  • Nasal symptoms: sneezing, watery nasal drip, stuffy nose, itching.

  • Ocular symptoms: itching, redness, swelling, watery eyes, discomfort to light.

  • Respiratory symptoms: sense of lack of air, dry irritating cough, shortness of breath.

  • Skin symptoms: itching, swelling, redness, hives.

  • Digestive symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

  • Fatigue and irritability (common in most patients).