When you suffer from allergies whether it is pollen, cat dander, or the dust on a table, it is all a result of your immune system coming to the conclusion that those particular everyday allergens are a danger to you; therefore, it responds by creating an antibody to deal with the intruders whenever you inhale [...]
We do not live in a very friendly environment. There are enemies all around us. However, the threat is not from an invading army, it is from microbes or germs such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and many others. They never rest; they’re always looking for a way in through your skin, lungs, or intestinal wall. One of the best attacks against these invading enemies is your immune system, which consists of a variety of glands, organs, cells, and chemicals.
The first line of defense against this enemy is your skin. If the first line of defense does not hold up, the sentry cells in the tissues known as T-lymphocytes or T-cells sounds the alarm. At this time the body’s killer cells (macrophages) are getting ready to do battle with the enemy. The T-cells are still providing valuable information about the enemy to B-lymphocytes. Special chemicals are then produced by the B-lymphocytes that are designed to destroy the enemy invaders. The body’s defense forces, the phagocytes or macrophages are then able to destroy the invaders that are exposed to these special chemicals.
The enemy invaders are allergens, and the special chemical that’s designed to destroy them are antibodies. Each allergen has a specially made molecule or antibody designed to attack that specific allergen.
Besides microbes, they’re other substances that we come in contact with each day that means us no harm. You’re constantly being exposed to a variety of chemicals in the air, on surfaces, and in food and water. Unfortunately, there are those that lack an immune system that can differentiate between these harmless substances that pose no threat and those that mean harm. The immune systems of these people are highly sensitive to these particular substances and react to them as if they were enemies. If your body overreacts to one or more otherwise harmless substances, you’re said to have hypersensitivity or allergy. You’re allergic to these substances.