AllergiesMonday, April 09, 2012
An allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful. An estimated one of every four Americans has them. Do you? Dr. Edward Hill discusses allergies in todays 60 Second Housecall.
The immune system is our bodys primary defense against disease and infection. But allergies can cause your immune system to go haywire.
An allergen is an ordinarily harmless substance that your immune system recognizes as foreign. Allergens can be inhaled, eaten or absorbed through the eyes or skin. The allergic reaction may be minor, such as sneezing, watery eyes or itching. It may be much more serious with breathing problems, low blood pressure and even death.
Unfortunately, if youre allergic to one thing, youre likely to become allergic to others. Almost anything can be an allergen, but the most common are pollens from grasses, trees and weeds. Many foods can also cause allergic reactions, especially strawberries, cantaloupe and citrus fruits.
You can develop allergies any time, but most are acquired during childhood, puberty or pregnancy. Allergies are controllable. Your physician can help determine your allergy triggers and develop a treatment course.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.