Seasonal Allergy Facts
Seasonal allergies can be confusing. Oftentimes we are allergic to a number of seasonal elements, including grass, pollen, mold spores, ragweed and more. The more you know about allergies and what you are allergic to, the better you can treat your allergies.
Symptoms of Allergies
Allergies can be classified as mild, moderate and severe. Mild allergic reactions include itchy, watery and red eyes, congestion and rash. Moderate reactions typically spread to other parts of the body and include, in addition to the mild reactions, itchiness and difficulty breathing. Severe allergic reactions are called anaphylaxis, which is rare but life-threatening. Anaphylaxis causes the body to eventually go into shock. Warning signs of anaphylaxis include swelling (often constricting the throat), abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and mental confusion. If a person goes into anaphylaxis, they'll need to be hospitalized immediately.
Allergy Vs. Allergen
There is a difference between the two terms allergy and allergen. An allergen is a substance that triggers an allergy. Common allergens can include pollen, mold, pet dander, foods, air pollution and more Allergens don't bother everyone, only some people have allergic reactions to allergens. An allergy is the reaction we have to the allergen, usually characterized by itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion.
Common Seasonal Allergens
There is a difference between allergens and seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies occur with the seasons; many people experience allergies in the spring, summer or fall, but not as much in the winter. This is because between spring and fall plants are blooming and producing pollen, spores, ragweed and other substances in order to reproduce. One ragweed plant can produce one billion grains of pollen, which can travel 300 to 700 miles in the air. It makes you itch just thinking about it. Other seasonal allergens are mold, especially in the damp fall months, and dust mites, which are mostly found in the home and stirred up by deep cleaning and dirty ventilation systems.
Other Types of Allergies
There are many other types of allergies triggered by a wide variety of substances Food allergies are triggered by various foods, usually including nuts, dairy, shellfish, soy, wheat and others. Medicines can cause allergic reactions in people, and can be unpredictable and often dangerous. Animals are a frequent allergen and can cause breathing problems as well as allergies. People are typically allergic to pet dander (skin cells), saliva, urine or hair. Chronic allergies occur year round and include seasonal allergies as well as allergies through the winter months, usually from house dust or mold, pets, and dirty ventilation systems. Insect allergies can occur from a variety of places. Insect stings normally swell and itch, but some people have a much more severe reaction to the sting and may experience fatigue, fever and nausea. They can be severe as well. Chances are you know if you have allergies of some sort. Consider getting an allergy test to determine the specific causes of your allergies in order to learn to treat symptoms and avoid the allergen.
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