Many people have allergies and have symptoms only at certain times of year or if they are exposed to specific allergens. The most common allergens include pollen, dust, mold, animal dander, foods, latex and medications.
Contact with these triggers produces an immune response, releasing immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies which cause the release of histamine and other chemicals such as leukotrines. This causes an allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction typically triggers symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin. For some people, allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma. About 70% of asthmatics also have allergies.
In 2008 less than half of people with asthma reported being taught how to avoid triggers. Almost half (48%) of adults who were taught how to avoid triggers did not follow most of this advice.
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Signs, May 2011.)
Avoiding and reducing exposure to allergens will prevent an allergic reaction.
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