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Common Allergies
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Common Allergies

Avoid Common Allergy Symptoms With These Suggestions

While almost anything in the environment can trigger allergy symptoms in someone, some allergens are much more common than others. Some of the most serious allergies are caused by foods and their additives; allergic reactions to these can be life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency. According to WebMD.com, some of the most common allergy triggers are:

  • Animal dander
  • Aspirin
  • Bee stings
  • Dust
  • Fire ant stings
  • Latex rubber
  • Medications
  • Mold
  • Peanuts
  • Penicillin
  • Poison ivy
  • Pollen
  • Shellfish

Three specific allergens are explored in greater detail below.

Food

This class of allergies ranges in severity from mild cases of hives to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Allergies of this type can only be diagnosed by a health care professional. They can be avoided by avoiding the specific item that triggers them, but this is not always as easy as it sounds.

Small amounts of allergens may be found in grocery products without listing these ingredients on the label; checking with the manufacturer might be the only way to be certain the item does not contain a particular allergen. Allergy sufferers may have to buy specialty products specifically made for people with allergies.

In addition to allergies, people can sometimes have hypersensitivity or intolerance to certain edible substances. These include monosodium glutamate (MSG), lactose, and sulfites.

Pet Dander

Pet dander contains a protein substance found in the shed hair, skin, saliva, and urine of most companion animals, and many people are allergic to this protein. Although some believe pet hair to be the cause of their pet allergies, dander can actually come from animals such as birds that don’t have hair. Pet allergies can include mild symptoms of itchy throat, nasal congestion, and runny eyes to more severe, asthma-like symptoms that include shortness of breath and coughing. Asthma attacks can be triggered by allergies to pet dander.

Visiting an allergy specialist can help one determine the exact cause of their pet allergy. Once the allergy is diagnosed, pet allergy sufferers can live with companion animals and help minimize their symptoms with the following suggestions:

  • Ask your health care provider if an allergy prevention shot may be appropriate for you.
  • Clean living areas thoroughly and change furnace filters frequently to help remove pet dander from the home.
  • If appropriate for you, take an over-the-counter allergy medication.
  • Keep your animal(s) out of your bedroom.
  • Remove pet dander from the air you breathe using a HEPA filter.
  • Wash your hands after touching your pet.
  • When choosing a pet, consider a fish, gecko, snake, tarantula, or turtle. These creatures are rarely responsible for allergy-causing dander.

Keep in mind that if you have pet dander allergies, you may experience symptoms even when no animals are present. This is because animal dander easily sticks to clothing, so people who have pets carry it around with them wherever they go.

Pollen

These allergies, also referred to as “hay fever,” are sometimes called “seasonal allergies” and may occur in the spring, summer, or autumn. Itchy eyes, itchy skin, nasal congestion, rash, runny nose, sneezing, and wheezing can all be symptoms of allergies to this substance, which comes from grasses, weeds, and trees. It is a fine dust that some plants produce when reproducing.

As with pet dander allergies, one’s health care provider may suggest treating hay fever allergies with an allergy prevention shot and/or over-the-counter medication. Other treatment options may include:

  • Medications prescribed by your health care provider, particularly if you’re not helped by over-the-counter medicines
  • Staying inside as much as possible when weather reports indicate high allergen counts
  • Using HEPA filters inside your home
  • Wearing a hat to keep the dust out of your hair
  • Wearing sunglasses to keep the dust out of your eyes
  • When coming inside from spending time outdoors, changing clothes, washing your hair, and showering before going to bed to keep the dust out of your bedroom

Allergy symptoms may not be completely avoidable. By following these recommendations, you may be able to help reduce your symptoms.

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