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What causes an allergy? 

An allergy is a hypersensitive immune response from a substance that can result in asthma, hay fever, rashes, or hives. People with allergies are more sensitive to or react to substances in the environment that are usually considered harmless to most people. When you are allergic to a substance, your body recognizes it as harmful. The body tries to protect itself by producing antibodies in response. These antibodies release chemicals called histamines in your bloodstream. Histamine causes an allergic reaction, such as a runny nose, itching, and even shortness of breath. You can inherit the likelihood of getting allergies. Allergies are commonly treated with medications called antihistamine or drugs that stop the histamine action.

To learn more about how to treat allergies or to schedule an appointment with an internist at East Jefferson General Hospital, please contact HealthFinder at 504.456.5000 or visit


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