Itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, or a dry cough can be common signs of an allergy. Skin disorders, breathing difficulties, and headaches are additional symptoms that are less common for some but may potentially become serious. People report many other symptoms as well when they come in contact with certain allergens that cause their body to react in ways like these. The symptoms manifest when the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies an exposure to certain causes of allergies as inflammatory or dangerous. The immune system kicks into overdrive to protect you but may instead cause symptoms that can be annoying at best or life threatening at worse. Here are common causes of allergies that often send people to the doctor for medical treatment.
Dust and Soil
Surprisingly, even the dust on your furniture or soil tracked indoors on shoes can send allergic people into sneezing fits. Soil may be tainted with pesticides, herbicides, or other chemical-infused products that can influence sensitive people’s immune systems to react symptomatically. Many people leave their shoes at the door and go barefoot inside or wear slippers. Dust is a more common allergen and is found everywhere. It frequently affects people through bed linens, furniture, and rugs. Change your bed linens often and wash them in hot water. Vacuum your fabric furniture to remove dust mites and their eggs or larvae to reduce allergy symptoms. Use quality products and professional guidance to maintain clean indoor rugs that contain little to no dust. Use a HEPA filter for your furnace to remove small dust particles.
Chemicals and Fragrances
You can find chemicals in most commercially prepared products for cleaning the house, art supplies, or room deodorizers. Insect repellent and some perfumes can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Any substance that contains harsh chemicals can be hard on the respiratory system. Tobacco smoke may irritate some people’s noses and throats. Avoid using products like these as well as places where they can be detected.
Animal pets, especially the furry kind, are one of the common causes of allergies. Fur that collects around the house when a dog or cat sheds at certain times of the year can bring on a case of the sniffles. Pet dander, which sloughs off in skin cells in pet beds or any area where the pet spends time indoors, causes allergy symptoms in some individuals. Fleas on a pet can also be the source of allergy problems. Keep your pets clean and well groomed and don’t let them share your bedroom to minimize their impact on your allergies.
Plant pollen is another cause of allergies that can occur year-round. Spring allergies are widespread when trees and flowers come into bloom from April to June, although their pollen may have an impact before or after that time. Summer brings allergies to certain kinds of grass or hay while autumn introduces a new round of allergens from fall plants and decaying vegetation. Experts advise staying indoors when the pollen count is high and using your home’s air conditioner to help clear the air. Avoid being outdoors in the mornings or on windy days when pollen has a more direct and forceful impact.
Foods and Medications
Common food allergies include products made with nuts, such as peanut butter, along with milk, eggs, and shellfish. Plenty of other foods also induce allergy symptoms. If you suspect you have had a reaction to a food allergy, contact your doctor. (For serious reactions always call 911 for help) Developing an allergy to some medications is not uncommon. Many people are unable to take prescriptions that contain penicillin or sulfa among others when they start having symptoms while using these meds.
You could develop a reaction to something you aren’t aware of. A doctor who specializes in allergies can conduct skin tests to see if you react to the suspected substances. Sometimes, however, the tests are inconclusive or negative, leaving the doctor and patient unsure of the source of the symptoms. You may be asked to keep a journal of what you eat and do over a period of time, and if symptoms appear again, your journal might show what you were doing at the time that might be the cause.
Millions of people suffer from allergies of different types. Many are able to control their symptoms by avoiding the triggers or taking medication. If you develop symptoms without an apparent cause, talk to your doctor about the potential causes of allergies as noted in your journal and discuss possible treatment if needed.