• Question: do allergies effect your immune system

    Asked by science ranger to Craig on 15 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Craig O'Hare

      Craig O'Hare answered on 15 Mar 2017:

      Allergies are actually caused by the immune system.

      Allergies are the result of the immune system responding to something like it would an infection. We’re not quite sure why the immune system behaves this way. Because allergies are more common in developed countries with good hygiene practices, some immunologists think that maybe we’re too clean and our immune system isn’t being exposed to enough germs making it too sensitive. Some scientists think that the allergens may also look like germs to the immune system on the molecular level too. We’re doing more research to find out of to regulate the immune system so that people who suffer from allergies can have theirs turned down a bit to lessen the symptoms.