What Causes Allergies?
The immune system is one of the most important systems in the human body because it protects us from bacteria, viruses, and a number of other potential threats to our personal well-being. Unfortunately, a person's immune system can malfunction for more than a limited time only, which can have horrendous consequences for said individual. For example, autoimmune disorders are when someone's immune system starts attacking their own tissues. In contrast, allergies are when someone's immune system starts responding in a stronger manner to specific stimuli that wouldn't provoke such a strong response from most people.
For those who are curious, the immune system produces a wide range of antibodies that can be used to recognize a wide range of foreign substances in the human body. When a particular antibody recognizes a particular substance as a threat, the immune system will start producing more of that particular antibody so as to mount a more effective and more efficient response next time. Unfortunately, when said substance is something that poses no threat, such a response is more harmful than beneficial. In some cases, allergic reactions are unpleasant but nothing more than that, whereas in other cases, allergic reactions can be lethal for those who are unfortunate enough to experience them.
The exact cause of allergies remains unknown for the time being. However, it is interesting to note that people in developing countries have lower incidences of allergies than people in developed countries. As a result, some experts have speculated that exposure to potential threats in childhood is supposed to teach the immune system to focus on real threats rather than trumped-up threats. However, parents shouldn't interpret this to mean that they should be exposing their children to infectious diseases, not least because a lot of infectious diseases can have much more horrendous consequences than most allergic reactions. Never mind that this particular phenomenon has other potential explanations as well.
What Are Some of the Different Kinds of Allergies Out There?
Regardless, there are some examples of the different allergies that can be found out there, which exist for more than a limited time only:
Meat lovers might want to be extra-careful when heading out into the wilderness. This is because some tick species can pass on a carbohydrate that will cause their victims to become allergic to meat from mammalian species. In other words, ticks are spreading a red meat allergy, which is particularly problematic because climate change is opening up more and more of North America for tick species.
Sunlight allergies are more common than most people would expect. However, some kinds of sunlight allergies are much more serious than others. For example, there are some people who seem to be allergic to the UV component of sunlight, which is a serious problem because UV radiation can penetrate further than less energetic wavelengths of light. As a result, some of these people can experience symptoms on covered skin because whatever they were wearing wasn't thick enough to insulate their skin from UV radiation.
It can sound like a made-up story, but there are indeed people who are allergic to water, which is exactly as horrible as it sounds. For example, a lot of people with water allergies have to be careful about exercising because their own sweat can cause them to break out in a painful rash. Likewise, said individuals have to be very careful about what they drink, with one woman stating that she has to drink milk because that produces a milder response than drinking water. Unfortunately, the water allergy remains poorly understood at this point in time, meaning that there is a limit to how much even the best treatment can help people with said medical condition.
There is a wide range of wood allergies. For example, some people are allergic to particular kinds of wood, whereas other people are allergic to particular forms of wood such as sawdust. With that said, there are some people who have wood allergies so strong that they have to watch out on more than a limited time only. In fact, their situation is so bad that they can't even touch paper, meaning that the advent of the paperless age must have come as welcome news for said individuals.