Why are we allergic?
An allergy is an over reaction of the immune system in contact with the allergen.
The reaction takes place in two phases. The first phase is the sensitization phase.
Upon initial contact with the allergen, the immune system considers the allergen as ennemy
susbtance. The cells in the immune system macrophages
and lymphocites interact. Lymphocites produce antibodies specific to
the allergen which bind to other cells known as mast cells.
These mast cells are then sensitized to the allergen. The second phase is the reaction
phase which takes place when the allergen is encountered again.
The mast cells sentitized to the allergen recognize it immediately and release inflammatory
substances to mobilise the immune system. These inflammatory molecules are what calls
allergy symptoms. Respiratory allergy is a hereditary progressive chronic disease that
untreated worsens. Patients sensitive to an allergen often develop
sensitization to other allergens over time. Allergic rhinitis may lead to onset of asthma.