According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, an allergy is “an abnormal reaction to an ordinarily harmless substance called an allergen. When an allergen, such as pollen, is absorbed into the body of an allergic person, that person’s immune system views the allergen as an invader and a chain reaction is initiated.”
Put simply, allergies are a physiological error. The body is reacting negatively to harmless substances, foods or stimuli.
An allergic reaction occurs when the body comes in contact with the allergen. This can occur through contact with the skin, inhalation, injection or ingestion of the substance.
The word “allergy” has become a generic term and is used by the public to describe allergies as well as sensitivities and intolerances. “Allergy” is now understood as a term for any negative reaction from exposure to a benign substance.