Allergies occur when the body's immune system reacts to a substance (called an allergen), causing a range of symptoms from a mild itch to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Allergens can enter the body through inhalation, consumption, or skin contact.


While environmental factors do play a role, genetics are the primary factor in the development of allergies. This means that the likelihood of suffering from allergies is usually inherited. Symptoms often begin in childhood and can persist into adulthood. Allergy symptoms may appear or disappear depending on exposure to triggers.


Allergies are a common experience for many people worldwide, often triggered by factors such as food allergies and insect stings, among others.

Common symptoms of allergies include:

  • Hives (urticaria).
  • Itchy, watery eyes, and frequent rubbing of the eyes.
  • Asthma, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, and coughing.
  • Cold symptoms that persist, coughing, and frequent sinus infections.
  • Skin rash and dry skin (especially around the child's elbows, joints, knees, and torso).
  • Sneezing, nasal congestion, a runny nose, and post-nasal drip (excessive mucus that runs from the back of the nose to the throat).

Diagnosing Allergies

Allergy Skin Test

This approach is widely used because it is highly precise and reliable in detecting symptoms. Results can be obtained in as little as 20 minutes. Moreover, the outcomes of allergy skin tests are utilized to determine which allergy vaccine is appropriate for a patient. In this method, tiny droplets of an allergen extract are placed on the skin, which is then pricked to enable the allergen to be absorbed into the skin.

Blood Test

This method is less commonly used than the skin test. It is reserved for situations where skin tests are not feasible, such as in patients who have a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock), or in patients with a severe rash where there is not enough unaffected skin for a skin test to be performed. In some instances, the findings of a blood test may also need to be verified through an allergy skin test.



Today, allergy medications are highly effective and can be taken orally or as nasal sprays.

  • Oral Medications: Antihistamines are highly effective and long-acting for up to 12-24 hours. Medications in this group do not cause drowsiness.
  • Nasal sprays: These medications are effective when used continuously. They reduce swelling and inflammation of the nasal membranes, as well as complications of sinusitis.

Allergy Vaccinations (Allergy Shots):

It also referred to as immunotherapy – can now be administered through shots or sublingual (oral) medication. The purpose of immunotherapy is to build up tolerance to the allergens that cause our allergies. The process involves a series of shots or sublingual medications over the course of three years.