The most common allergies and how can you identify what affects you

Our bodies are capable of being triggered by something that can be completely harmless to other bodies. Allergies happen when our immune system mistakes a harmless substance that we consume, inhale or rub against and infer that it is a dangerous pathogen. From that moment on, your body releases antibodies to attack that substance whenever it detects particles of the offending allergen and cause troublesome side effects.

Our bodies may react to allergies with allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to airborne allergens. Symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, swelling, itching, a runny nose and much more. Respiratory allergies can also trigger asthma and sinus infections.

Here are some of the most common allergies that you might have come across:

1. Pollen: Commonly referred to as a seasonal allergy, pollen is one of the biggest allergy triggers. Irrespective of the plants nearby, many people come into contact with pollen as it can travel for miles by air. If your symptoms get worse during the spring season, then it is more likely to be an allergy than any other condition.

2. Dust Mites: If you often have allergic symptoms in your own home, your allergen may be dust mites. They grow vigorously in mattresses, carpeting, pillows, and upholstered furniture. Dust mite allergies are triggered once these creatures become airborne. They live and breed in warm and humid places and are the most common cause of allergy from house dust. Seen only under a microscope, it is impossible to remove them using just normal cleaning procedures.

3. Mold: Not all mold can cause allergies, but the ones that do can be found inside and outside. Areas with a high concentration of moisture can trigger allergic reactions. This fungus can grow in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements as well as when the weather outside is damp. When mold spores are inhaled, it can cause cold or nasal irritation.

4. Animal dander: Pet allergies are actually quite common amongst pet owners. Everything from skin flakes, urine to saliva — can trigger an allergic reaction. When these proteins are inhaled, it can cause a reaction. Pet fur may also have to be avoided as it can carry pollen, mold, dust and other outdoor and indoor allergens. The reactions can impact the respiratory tract as well as the skin.

5. Food: You can either be born with food allergies or they can show up at any age. Food allergies don’t just come with gastrointestinal symptoms. If they did, it could pass off as food poisoning, intolerance or something else. In the case of food allergies, your upset stomach will be complemented with respiratory issues, swelling and rashes.

Over the years, Bangalore has become home to many allergens that, most often, cause people to be vulnerable to their allergies. An allergic reaction can vary from mildly irritating to severe and life-threatening. In order to continue to live with your allergies free from its symptoms, its important to take proper medical care.

There are two ways to treat allergies – one is to eliminate the allergen and the other is following the treatment plan given by your healthcare provider. In both cases, it is important to identify the allergen first. An ENT physicist or a dermatologist (skin reactions) will be able to help you get to the root cause by taking allergy tests – through blood tests and skin tests. In cases where the allergen cannot be eliminated, your doctor can help you, by either setting up a treatment plan to do away with the allergy or prescribe you with medication for symptom relief. The treatment may be surgical, depending on the type of allergy.

Since many allergens cause similar symptoms, it will not be easy to pinpoint what the allergy is on your own. You shouldn’t have to live with the unpleasant symptoms of allergies – whether mild or severe. Book an appointment with your doctor to help treat your allergies today.

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