Why Sneezing Is Good for You; July 2012; Scientific American Magazine; by Melinda Wenner Moyer; 1 Page(s)
Most experts consider allergies to be misdirected immune reactions to innocuous substances such as pollen or peanuts. A handful of researchers, however, now propose a fundamentally different theory of allergies: that runny noses, coughs and itchy rashes may have evolved to protect us from toxic chemicals, like snake venom, in our environment and in the food we eat.
Immunologists have long thought that allergy sufferers are the victims of a misdirected type 2 response, which is believed to have evolved to protect against parasites. The type 2 response works by strengthening the body's protective barriers and promoting pest expulsion.