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What is Allergy?

Updated on July 25, 2016

The causes of allergy

There are 2 main causes. There is talk of atopy and allergens:

=> Allergy occurs in genetically predisposed subjects: mostly there is a family history of allergy. We speak of atopy or atopic, that is to say, a genetic predisposition to allergy. Very small quantities of allergen sufficient to trigger allergy.

=> The allergen may be present for a long time in the environment, such as a dog hair on a sofa can be allergenic when there was no dog for more than six months in the house!

The various symptoms of allergy

The allergy can manifest in different forms:

=> Cutaneous manifestations: hives, eczema
=> Respiratory manifestations: allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma
=> Ophthalmic manifestations: allergic conjunctivitis
=> Severe manifestations: angioedema (urticaria), anaphylactic shock

The main types of allergy

There are different types of allergy:

=> Food allergies (with allergy to peanut, nuts, protein from cow's milk, the Umbelliferae family fruit latex, egg)
=> Dust mite allergies
=> Latex allergies
=> Drug allergies (with allergy to antibiotics including penicillin allergy)
=> Allergy to animals with allergy to cats
=> The sun allergy
=> Pollen allergy
=> Cross allergies

The test for allergy

To highlight an allergy, a doctor passes a history. However, to find exactly which allergens the patient is responsive, he will make him pass different tests:

=> skin tests;
=> provocation tests;
=> blood tests.

Treatment of allergy

The first allergy treatment is based on allergen avoidance, for this we should follow some rules of prevention.

Other treatments are either specific to a type of allergy as the treatment of anaphylactic shock or non-specific as symptomatic treatments.

In some cases, it is possible to make the body tolerant to the allergen screw: this is called desensitization.


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