Seasonal allergy develops when the body’s immune system identifies an inhaled substance as being harmful. In response, the immune system produces antibodies to protect you. Sometimes, the immune system overreacts and produces an excess of a certain antibody known as IgE, which leads to allergic reactions. The first step in treating an allergy is to find out what is causing the reaction.
Allergies and asthma often start in childhood and continue throughout life. Although neither can be cured, with proper care they can usually be kept under control. Allergies are caused by the body’s reaction to substances called “allergens,” which trigger the immune system to react to harmless substances as though they were attacking the body.
Some allergies are easy to identify by the pattern of symptoms that follows exposure to a particular substance. But others are subtler, and may masquerade as other conditions. Here are some common clues that could lead you to suspect you or your child may have an allergy.