- "Why doesn't everyone have allergies?"
- Why So Many Allergies – Now?
- Why do some people have allergies and some don’t?
- Why Are Only Some People Allergic to Some Foods?
"Why doesn't everyone have allergies?"
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Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance — such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander — or a food that doesn't cause a reaction in most people. Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. 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 irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can't be cured, treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.
The exact causes of allergy symptoms are still being investigated. However, it is known that these are due to immune system pathways that lead to inflammation after an encounter with allergenic proteins in the environment. These proteins are often from plant pollens, animal dander, insect venom, or certain foods. The immune system is similar to a sensory system in that it receives input from the environment and produces an adaptive response. Its purpose is to recognize foreign invaders, such as bacteria and parasites, and launch an attack to neutralize the threat of infection. It also recognizes and disposes of ill or defective internal cells, to prevent a disease from spreading.
Why some people are allergic to certain things while others are not can be a difficult topic to understand. For example, a dog can jump into your lap and, just like that, you will start to sneeze and your eyes will drip. All of this will force you to toss Fido aside in search of a tissue box.
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It can be a bummer when gorgeous weather beckons you to go outside and you suddenly find your adventurous spirit hampered by your one true enemy: allergies. Why is it that harmless plants seem to attack our senses? And why are only some of us affected? In this TED-Ed lesson by Eleanor Nelson , we learn that our immune systems basically just confuse harmless pollen and mold spores with something potentially dangerous like bacteria, and the unpleasant allergic reaction we experience is our body on the defense. Allergies tend to run in families, so there might be a genetic component as to which allergens affect you, and where you grow up also plays a factor. The hygiene hypothesis posits that a lack of childhood exposure to microorganisms and parasites causes the immune system to over-eagerly attack harmless substances. The simplest way to combat your allergies are antihistamines, which diminish the inflammation response.
If you are part of the approximately 4 percent of adult Americans who suffer from a food allergy, you might be interested to know why the peanut butter on a sandwich could kill you with one bite, while the jam is harmful only to your waistline. All allergic reactions , basically, are the result of the body's defense mechanism against foreign intruders it mistakenly perceives as harmful. Your immune system responds to the threat by pumping out antibodies, which in turn trigger the release of protective chemicals that make your nose runny, eyes itchy and, sometimes, make it impossible to breathe. Though any food can cause such an allergic response, some are notorious for provoking the immune system, while others are almost universally innocuous to the human race. Nuts, seeds and shellfish are well-known allergens, as are corn, milk, soy, eggs and wheat.
The fact is that scientists understand a lot more about allergic disease than they did a decade ago. There are still gaping holes in their knowledge, but as they continue to fill in the pieces to the puzzle, what they are finding is fascinating and often surprising. In the following investigation, Allergic Living examines what science knows so far about why allergies occur. When a baby is born, its immune system is a work in progress. This is what scientists call the Th2 mode. During the first days, weeks and months of life, as the baby comes into contact with various germs, bacteria, viruses and infection, the system is supposed to start learning to distinguish between what is harmful and what is benign.
Why So Many Allergies – Now?
Why Do Some People Have Allergies and Others Don't?
Why do some people have allergies and some don’t?
Why Are Only Some People Allergic to Some Foods?