About 30 percent of adults in the country suffer from some type of allergy. There are several factors present in the environment that can act as triggers for different types of allergies. Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a seemingly harmless foreign substance with unnecessary gusto, producing antibodies to deal with the same. These antibodies identify the allergen as harmful and start attacking it, and this immune system response can cause inflammation of the skin, sinuses, digestive system, or airways. The allergic response can range anywhere from minor irritation to anaphylaxis, which is an extremely critical condition. Which is why identifying the potential triggers and avoiding them at all costs is advisable.
The most prevalent allergy triggers are as follows:
Pollen is one of the most common causes of allergies in the country. Pollen is a completely harmless substance, but it causes an adverse immune response in people who are allergic to it when they come in contact with it. The common symptoms of pollen allergy are scratchy throat, itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion, sinus pressure resulting in facial pain, runny nose, cough, swollen and bluish-colored skin beneath the eyes, runny nose, and increased asthmatic reactions. Also, pollens can trigger hay fever (allergic rhinitis) which is a type of seasonal allergy. This allergy is treated by antihistamines, decongestants, and certain medications that combine antihistamines and decongestants.
2. Dust Mites
Dust mites are critters that are so tiny that they cannot be seen by the naked eye. These dust mites live in house dust and coming in contact with them can give rise to pollen allergy-like symptoms like a runny nose or sneezing. At times, the reactions of the dust mite allergy are so severe that it can give rise to symptoms of asthma such as difficulty in breathing and wheezing. The treatment for dust mite allergy includes the use of antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, and leukotriene modifiers. Other forms of therapy immunotherapy and nasal irrigation are also known to provide some relief from the symptoms of dust mite allergy.
Consuming certain foods like milk, shellfish, nuts, soybeans, wheat, and eggs can trigger certain allergic reactions within minutes of eating them. The allergic reaction can range from mild to severe, and it is essential to avoid these foods to prevent a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. The symptoms of food allergy include wheezing or trouble breathing, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, and swelling around the mouth. People with food allergies are advised to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with them in case of emergency.
4. Insect stings
Insect stings can also trigger allergic reactions. Insects that cause allergic reactions include bees, hornets, wasps, fire ants, and hornets. Insect stings can cause pain, swelling, redness, and heat around the sting site. These symptoms can cause mild to life-threatening reactions like anaphylaxis. The treatment involves removing the stinger safely and involves administering antihistamines orally to reduce itching, hives, and swelling.
5. Pet dander
People can be allergic to cats and dogs, but, in reality, they are allergic to pet dander. Dander is flecks of skin shed by dogs, cat, and even birds. This dander is known to trigger allergies. There are instances when even coming in contact with the oil glands in the animal’s skin or the proteins from the animal saliva can trigger allergies. The best way to treat pet allergies is by taking allergy shots, or medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids.