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How Asthma and Allergy Occurs

The Development of Allergy and Asthma involves IgE Antibodies. It is a two step process by which genetically allergy prone persons initially become sensitized to a substance.

During the First stage of allergy , the individual develops significant amount of IgE antibodies against an inhaled, ingested or injected substance. Memory B cell also appear that are capable of immediately producing more of this specific antibodies when stimulated.

The second stage involves adherence of this newly formed IgE to circulating basophils or to the mast cell located in the skin, mucosal surfaces of gastrointestinal tract or respiratory system.

The new exposure simply added to the existing population so that there are millions of IgE molecule directed against different allergens, present on the surface of each mast cell and basophils.

This process of sensitization does not produce any symptoms that we equate with allergic disease.

The second step in the two step process of becoming allergic involves the re-exposure of a sensitized person to the same allergen. With exposure symptoms may vary from mild for example sneezing to severe asthma or urticaria or anaphylaxis and rarely even sudden death.

What are the Risk factors for allergy?

  • Family history of allergies
  • Serum IgE>100 IU/ml before age of 6 years
  • Animal contact
  • Dust mite exposure
  • Passive smoking
  • Eczema
  • Small family size
  • Early use of antibiotics
  • Western life style
  • diet

Genetics of allergy and Asthma

  1. If one parent is atopic >= 50 % risk
  2. If both parents are atopic >=66 % risk
  3. No family history < 20%


Asthma Allergy Pulmonology and Chest Centre Thrissur Kerala

Asthma Allergy Pulmonology and COPD Centre Thrissur Kerala

Dr Kurian Thomas MBBS; DTCD; MD ; DNB

Pulmonary Medicine Rtd Professor Medical College Thrissur

Pipe Line Road
Mylipadam, Thrissur

Ph : 0487 2333433
Mob : 9446333433