What are Allergies?

Allergies are simply an overreaction of the immune system to a substance foreign to the body.  The body’s immune system treats the substance (called an allergen) as an invader and tries to defend itself, resulting in symptoms that can range from annoying to significantly debilitating. When exposed to allergens the immune system produces antibodies that cause cells in the body to release chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream.  It’s the release of these chemicals that cause allergic reactions, affecting a person’s eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract. Allergic reactions have many forms.  The most common are itchy and watery eyes or an itchy nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, throat tightness and trouble breathing.  Repeated sinus infections and ear infection can also be related to allergic reactions. Cass Street ENT & Allergy understands that allergies make even the simplest tasks unbearable.  Whether your symptoms are seasonal or last throughout the year, we have testing and treatment services available for patients of all ages.