Allergies are the body's chronic, abnormal reactions to what are ordinarily harmless substances in the environment. Many things—including mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, insect stings and some foods—can cause allergic reactions. Immunology is the area of medicine that deals with immune system disorders, including allergies, autoimmune diseases and immune deficiency. An allergist/immunologist is a physician with advanced training in the diagnosis, treatment and management of allergies and immune system disorders.
Common Allergy Symptoms
If you have an allergy, your immune system views the substance (allergen) that causes your hypersensitive reaction as an invader. Your body responds with a protective, chemical chain reaction that may produce symptoms such as:
- Itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat or eyes
- Stuffy nose (congestion)
- Runny nose
- Tearing eyes
- Dark circles under the eyes
For some people, allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma, a chronic condition that causes inflammation or narrowing of the airways.
Expert Care for Allergies & Immune System Disorders
If you're dealing with allergies or other immune system disorders, you can trust the specialists at Portsmouth Regional Hospital to diagnose your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan that will help you feel and live better. Our allergists will confer with your primary care physician to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment and follow-up care.
Learn more about allergies from the Allergy Center in our online Health Library.