People who suffer from allergies, or allergic disease, experience hypersensitivity of the immune system to an allergen. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. The symptoms of allergies can range from the slightly irritating, to the really miserable, and even life-threatening, reactions.
One of the greatest benefits to living in southwest Florida is the year round sunshine. Harsh northern winters begin to take their toll, and those of us lucky enough to find ourselves moving to Florida travel here with the dream of year-round days spent outside in the great Naples weather. Unfortunately, what many of us never consider is how a new environment can affect our bodies. Along with common variables like food, pets, latex, and medication, the unique climate, pollen count, mold, and dust found in southwest Florida may exacerbate allergies. Allergens you had previously not been exposed to may begin to affect you as well. The Naples Allergy Center mission is to educate and treat both common allergies, and those unique to the Naples area.
What Happens During an Allergic Reaction?
The goal of our immune system is to protect us from illness caused by unknown organisms, but for those with allergies the immune system reacts to a harmless substance (the allergen) as though it is dangerous. The result is that the immune system produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (or IgE) that travel to cells that release histamine. It is the released histamine that causes the allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction can affect the skin, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, nose, even the lining of your stomach. Allergies can also trigger the symptoms of asthma. In the most serious cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) can occur.
What are Some Common Allergy Symptoms?
An allergic reaction can cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Itchy Skin
- Itchy Throat
- Itchy Eyes
- Watery Eyes
- Red Eyes
- Runny Nose
- Nasal Congestion
- Stomach Ache
- Shortness of Breath
Types of Allergies
- Insect Stings
- Pet Allergies
- Eye Allergies
- Hay Fever