Allergy is a disorder of the immune system which is a form of hypersensitivity. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. It is characterized by excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody known as IgE, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma attacks, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergy
As a child, I don't recall ever being asked whether I was allergic to anything. Perhaps it was because I wasn't allergic to anything. My sister was allergic to accessories which weren't made of gold and I used to think how 'expensive' some people were. Lo and behold, I too had that sort of reaction as I grew older when I discovered that those cheap tiny brooches I used to pin my head scarf together under my chin always gave me a reaction. They simply had to be changed to gold! Even worst, as I grow older (the bitter truth),I am now very sensitive to pollen - which is a drag, as the best precaution is to stay indoors.
When I was 14, my close friend, MW, told me that she had eczema and was allergic to seafood, i.e. prawns, crabs and certain types of fish. I felt sorry for her and couldn't believe my ears when she said that she had never ever tasted prawn or crab all her life! Imagine what she was missing out: sambal petai udang, ketam sweet sour, udang goreng tempura, etc. ;)
As a contrast to my younger days in school, today my children are often prompted whether they are allergic to anything, be it through food consumption or physical contact. A few years back, my Princess came back from school and pestered me to tell her what she was allergic to, clearly not satisfied when I told her she wasn't allergic to anything at all. So finally, after thinking hard, she came up with an allergy she could declare to her friends and teacher: I'm allergic to vegetables. It makes me sick!
Yesterday, Little D came up to me and asked whether I knew what he was allergic to. As he came with a cheeky grin on his face, I knew that he must be up to something. Nonetheless, I played along by making a few guesses, Hmmm... could it be eggs? I don't think so, because you love half boiled eggs in the morning... Pollen? No, because you enjoy rolling on the grass and you never get a single rash... Oh, I give up!
I'm allergic to tickles Mummy! So, don't tickle me but let me tickle you!!
With that, he attacked his mother without knowing that she was even more allergic to tickles than he was!
So what are you allergic to?