What is Allergen?

Allergens are materials that exist in our environment and that make reactions in our bodies because of the reasons and mechanisms mentioned above. If our immune system has a tendency towards making allergic reactions, allergic findings will occur in the organ the allergy reached.

These are organic materials in ‘protein’ structure which the immune system can easily recognize. But in some way they must reach to our mucous such as skin, nose, bronchus and intestine or directly to our body for instance by injection, in order to gain sensitivity while baby and also for the allergic complaints to occur. The mostly existing and causing allergic illnesses type of allergens are called as ‘aeroallergen’. These are separated as ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’ allergens. 

The best example for indoor allergens is the allergy to house dust mites. The best example for outdoor allergens is pollen allergy. These allergens reach to body in different ways and they come into contact with the organ. For example, house dust mite allergens are so small that they easily reach to bronchus without being kept at nose and they cause ‘allergic bronchial asthma’ by the allergic reaction they made at bronchus. 

Pollens are bigger and heavier than house dust mites, for this reason nose operates as an air filter and pollens are kept at nose. This time they cause allergic reactions in nose mucous and they cause allergic catarrh. In the same way, because eye is a mucous too, the allergens cause allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergy). Animals, insects, aspergillus, food, medicines and many materials that used in production sector (professional allergens) might be allergens. They cause allergic findings according to the organ they affect. 


Allergens can be assembled in five main groups: 

  • Environmental allergens (Aeroallergens)
  • Insect allergens
  • Food allergens
  • Medicine allergens
  • Professional allergens

In these groups the most seen allergens are environmental allergens. These are separated as indoor and outdoor allergens. The most frequently seen indoor environmental allergen is house dust mite allergens, aspergillus and animal allergens. The most frequently seen outdoor environmental allergens are pollen and aspergillus respectively.


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