The Science Behind How Allergies Affect Your Body

las vegas allergist

Depending on the severity of your allergies, an allergy attack can range from merely annoying to downright scary. Allergies manifest in many ways, including itchy, watery eyes, digestive problems, and severe reactions like anaphylactic shock. When peak allergy season starts, about 50 million Americans have symptoms. Approximately 10% have severe reactions to environmental factors. If you have allergies, an allergist Las Vegas can tell you exactly what goes on in your body when it recognizes a “foreign” allergy substance and consequently launches an internal attack.

Initial Reaction

You might be surprised to learn that the unpleasant symptoms you experience are not the first part of an allergic reaction. Instead, your allergies kick in well before you experience sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes. Your body begins building immunity (and producing antibodies) at the first sign of trouble. Seasonal allergens like pollen start to emerge in early spring and bloom through late summer. However, growing seasons and patterns differ slightly depending on location.


Once your body encounters an allergen, it gets to work boosting immunity. It starts by creating an antibody to the offending system, which it uses to store information for use in a future “attack” against the allergen. The offending substance, like pollen, is surrounded by antigen-pressing cells, which are a specific type of immune cell. These cells trigger a response from lymphocytes, or “white blood cells,” that learn to recognize the substance as foreign.

Divide and Conquer

The white blood cells in your body are divided into two categories: B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. When an allergen enters the body, both cells step in to help. Some are designed to attack the pollen, while others support the body to get rid of them. Basophils and mast cells are initiated next to help with the allergy response. These cells have chemical components, like histamine, that cause typical allergy symptoms. The mast cells can develop for months and years, which ultimately triggers an allergic response. It is possible to have an allergic reaction with the first exposure, but it’s more likely that a response develops later down the road.

When Symptoms Develop

Symptoms can develop shortly after exposure to an allergen. They are typically worst shortly after the first 30 minutes. However, they begin to decline in severity after that. Even if your allergies last several weeks or longer, they’re much worse up-front.

Preventing an Attack

Prevention is the best solution in an allergy attack. Knowing what you’re allergic to and when you can expect allergies to develop helps a lot with management. You might be exposed to specific allergens over the course of the day, such as mold or ragweed, that you can inhale without even knowing it. You can also look for time patterns and behavioral patterns in what symptoms you develop and when. Working with an allergy doctor in Las Vegas, you can learn to manage your allergy symptoms and prevent an attack in the future. This may even include taking some allergy medication.

Taking Control

Any Las Vegas allergist will tell you that the best cure for allergy relief is prevention. The more allergens you can avoid, allergists say, the better. Doing so also means you’ll also have fewer symptoms from ingesting from the things you’re allergic to. Sometimes, you also need medication of some sort to make your allergy symptoms go away. Two of the most common are antihistamines and steroids. Antihistamines prevent symptoms by blocking the triggers that cause sneezing and itchy eyes. They primarily target the eyes and nose. Steroids are another popular remedy for allergies in the nasal passages. They work by eliminating inflammatory mediators from your nasal cavity that are triggered by allergies.

Allergy attacks are no fun, but it helps to understand the physiological response behind them. If you suffer from allergies, it is advantageous to know what causes your allergy symptoms and when they might occur. If you aren’t sure what is causing your allergies, but you know that you’re reacting to something, a specialist in Las Vegas allergies can help pinpoint the source of the problem. Allergy tests can be performed simply in the office by a skin test. A blood test can also be used to check for more severe allergies. Dr. Tottori, a prominent allergy doctor in Las Vegas, can also help you out. Just call (702) 240 4233 or go online: