Allergy Types

There are almost as many types of allergies as there are allergy sufferers. They are usually classified according to what causes them, or the symptoms they cause. Allergens may cause a reaction in several ways: inhalation, injection, ingestion, or through skin contact. Allergic reactions can involve any part of the body but most frequently affect the nose, eyes, lungs, and skin.

Allergies that are defined by what causes them:

  • Inhalant allergy, such as from pollen or dust
  • Infectious allergy, with symptoms made worse by a cold or flu
  • Insect allergy, usually from the bite of a particular insect
  • Drug allergy, which can be quite serious and may result in anaphylaxis—a life-threatening condition
  • Physical agent allergy, such as an allergy to cold, heat, or exercise
  • Contact allergy, such as to latex, household chemicals, or newsprint
  • Food allergy, including anything that you could ingest that is not a poison; it is different from a food sensitivity. Food allergies are generally severe and will cause a noticeable reaction

Allergies that are defined by their symptoms:

  • Allergic rhinitis or hay fever, the most common form of allergy
  • Eczema
  • Hives, also known as chronic urticaria
  • Skin rashes, including rashes that are not included in any other grouping
  • Rosacea
  • Anaphylactic shock