An allergy occurs when your immune system recognizes an environmental or food molecule (allergen) as a dangerous intruder to get rid of. The dreaded symptoms are just the tools your body has to get rid of the intruder.
The allergy mechanism is quite complex and involves the immune system and a series of biochemical reactions. It ends up with histamine and other mediators being released in the bloodstream and causing symptoms. Allergens may result from our environment, food, medication, or personal care products like skin creams or suntan lotions.
The body’s response to an allergen results in “allergy symptoms” ranging from mild to severe, and sometimes deadly. If you are experiencing an allergic reaction you may feel tired, hazy, dizzy, or exhibit cold or flu-like symptoms.
Do you see the spring through a haze of tears, with a tissue box surgically attached to your hand and your nose emitting a persistent deluge of protesting gunge?
Most Canadians love summers, so it seems harsh that so many people should be doomed to react unfavourably at the first glint of the suns rays.
Then there are the unfortunates who react this way all year round, persistently snuffling and sneezing, sometimes without even knowing what it is they are reacting to. If you wake up every morning with an itchy nose, irritated eyes or catarrh blocking the back of your throat, you know where I’m coming from.