Allergies are caused by the body's overzealous reaction to normally harmless substances. Allergies can be triggered by pollen, animal dander, mold, dust, and insect droppings, or by certain foods or insect stings. Upper respiratory allergy symptoms include runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing.
At first, Gina Hollenbeck was told that her chronic cough was due to seasonal allergies, then a second doctor chalked it up to gastric reflux. It was a chest X-ray she insisted on paying for out of pocket that led to her terminal cancer diagnosis.