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Types of allergy

Soorten allergie

Allergic reactions are caused by substances in the environment known as allergens. Almost anything can be an allergen to someone. However, only proteins can cause true allergic reactions. Depending on how the body gets in contact with an allergen a classification can be made in types of allergies.

Inhalation allergy is a reaction of the immune system to allergens (to which the body normally doesn’t react) that are airborne and inhaled. Examples of inhalation allergens include tree pollen, grass pollen, dander of cats or dogs, house dust mites and molds. Also some food allergens can enter the body through inhalation.

An allergic reaction of the skin as a result of contact with a particular allergen is called contact allergy. Nickel and rubber latex are examples of allergens that frequently cause a contact allergy.

Besides the manner in which an allergen presents itself to the body, as described above, a certain ‘source/substance’ can also cause an allergy. Examples include: insect sting allergy (allergy to bees, wasps and/or bumblebees), food allergy (such as to cow’s milk, peanut and chicken egg) and drug allergy (like antibiotics and/or pain killers).

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