What is an allergy? The most important points for you

what is an allergy

What exactly is an allergy? What happens to the immune system? These are probably questions that you may have asked yourself before. Allergies can affect daily life and thereby significantly reduce your quality of life.

The first step to effectively combat an allergy is to identify the allergens. We have put together how exactly you should do this in the following blog entry. Let's first define the allergy before we look at the causes of an allergy and the possible symptoms. Here you will get an answer to the typical question “What is an allergy?”

What is an allergy? The definition

To answer the question “What is an allergy?”, a definition is obvious. An allergy is an excessive and inappropriate reaction of the immune system to certain substances that are actually considered harmless. These substances can be very different, ranging from pollen to animal hair and food.

Instead of recognizing these substances as harmless, the immune system sees them as a threat. The immune system then reacts with an extremely strong defense reaction and mobilizes its defenses. What follows is an allergic reaction. This varies depending on the type of allergy – but more on that later.

What is an allergy? Possible causes

The reasons for an allergy are different. That's why we at GenoLine have put together potential causes for you:

Genetic predisposition: Heredity plays a role in susceptibility to allergies. If allergies run in your family, the risk of you having an allergic reaction to certain substances increases.

Type and amount: Both the type and amount of the substance you come into contact with affects the severity of the allergic reaction. A small exposure to a strong substance can trigger more serious symptoms than a large exposure to a mild substance.

Immune system status: The status of your immune system also plays a crucial role. A weakened immune system can cause allergic reactions to become more severe. • Repeated Exposure: What is Exposure in Allergy Repeated exposure to an allergen can increase the reaction over time. This is particularly common with pollen allergies, which occur seasonally.

What are Allergens?

Another key term that you will come across when you ask yourself the question “What is an allergy?” describes the so-called allergens. These are what cause an allergic reaction. The allergens can get into your body in different ways - including skin contact, eating certain foods or inhalation. In order to effectively treat and prevent further allergic reactions, it is necessary to find out which allergen is the trigger. Would you like to know whether and what you have an allergy to? You can find out with our allergy test! We will briefly introduce you to the most common allergies and allergens below:

Plant pollen: Cause allergic reactions such as hay fever as tiny pollen particles spread through the air.

• House dust mites: The small arachnids and their droppings live in dust and textiles, which can cause allergies.

• Pet allergies: The reaction is triggered by dander or saliva from dogs, cats and rodents.

• Insect allergies: Overreactions of the immune system to stings, especially from bees or wasps, which in an emergency can trigger anaphylactic shock.

• Mold allergies: Mold grows in moist environments and releases spores that can cause allergic reactions.

• Food allergies: Specific foods such as nuts, milk and wheat can cause allergies that require an individual diagnosis.

What is an allergy? The symptoms

If you are dealing with the question “What is an allergy?”, the symptoms are also relevant. Allergies can affect people regardless of gender and age. The symptoms can vary not only in their appearance, but also in their intensity. Some allergies occur in a milder form, while others are more severe. The symptoms that may occur are:

• Itching of the skin or mucous membranes

• Sneezing and runny or stuffy nose

• Cough and difficulty breathing

• Red, swollen or itchy eyes

• Skin rashes or eczema

• Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

• Swelling of the skin, especially on the face and lips

What is an allergy? That's why you should get tested

In this blog post we have now answered the question “What is an allergy?” in detail. An allergy test is definitely the right decision to find out about potential allergens. With this test, you can live a life with fewer symptoms with appropriate treatment.

Alternatively, you can use our simple saliva tests to carry out the test in the comfort of your own home without having to wait long for an appointment with an allergist. You can send your test back to us free of charge and you will receive your result within 14 days.

This will give you initial certainty if your body reacts atypically to certain substances. Do you also want to be certain about your pets? We also offer a health check for dogs and a cat health check .