What Are Allergies?

TeensHealth defines allergies as, “abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When you're allergic to something, your immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harmful to your body.”

What Are People Allergic To?

People can be allergic to various things, however some of the most common allergens include:

  • Foods

  • Insect stings

  • Medicines

  • Chemicals

  • Dust

  • Plant pollen

How are Allergies Treated?

  • Avoidance. Read labels to avoid food or chemicals that trigger allergies.

  • Medicine. Many effective medicines are available to treat common allergies, and your doctor can help you to identify those that work for you.

  • Allergy Shots. Immunotherapy is only recommended for specific allergies, such as to things a person can breathe in (like pollen, pet dander, or dust mites) or insect allergies. Immunotherapy doesn't help with some allergies, like food allergies. 

If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, TeenHealthFX suggests scheduling an appointment with your physician or allergist. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health  at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers. Allergic reactions can be dangerous or even fatal. If you find that you are experiencing an allergic reaction, call 911 or visit your local emergency immediately.