Me, you and the billions of people around the world may be familiar with allergy symptoms. Such as itchy eyes, runny nose, skin rashes and scratchy throat. But, what exactly are allergies? An allergy is an immune system reactions to a normally harmless substance such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or a food protein. When this reaction happens, the immune system produces antibodies to the irritating substances known as allergens. Those antibodies trigger the release of histamines and other chemicals. It is those chemicals that are responsible for the symptoms of allergies. Sometimes the allergens cause symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat or sinuses. Also, allergens can affect the ears, causing earaches. The skin allergies triggering eczema and the gastrointestinal tract causing cramping or diarrhea.
Top Allergens that Causes Allergy
Allergic asthma can also develop from exposure to allergens. In the most severe cases a person may have a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Which can cause difficulty breathing and low blood pressure. This may come from a bee sting or a peanut allergy for example. However, these most severe allergic reactions are quite rare.
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, the most common allergy triggers are;
- certain foods
- insect stings
- animal dander
Allergy is Genetically Transferable
No one is sure what causes the immune system to overreact to normally harmless substances. But, doctors do know that most people who are allergic develop the problems when they are ten years of age or younger.
An allergies tend to run in families.
- If neither parent is allergic there's only a 15% chance their child will become allergic.
- But if one parent is allergic a child has a 30 percent chance of developing allergies.
- And if both parents have allergies their child has a 75% chance of developing them.
What do farmers, loggers, winemakers and people with pet and pollen allergies have in common? There all at high risk for developing mold allergies. Mold grows in damp places such as soil, basements, bathrooms and kitchens. When its spores are released into the air. They find their way into your nasal passages and air ways. In people with sensitive immune system. This starts as cascade of reactions that culminates in the release of histamines and other chemicals from cells in the lining of the nose, sinuses, eyes, throat and our lungs.
A common misinterpretation is that food which is moldy can still be eaten if the mold is scraped off. Unfortunately, the mold spores are likely to have covered the entire surface of the food already. Plus, mold has branches and roots which are all invisible to the naked eye.
Where to Find Molds?
The result is sneezing, edging nasal discharge, congestion and sometimes asthma or dry scaly rash. These symptoms can flare up in the summer when outer mold are at their highest or linger throughout the year as indoor molds dried. Mold can also be found in food which may explain why some people are allergic to mushrooms, aged cheeses or smoked meats. Even breads and other food made with yeast can cause an allergic reaction. So, if a slice of mushroom pizza or a day of gardening has left you sneezing-itching. It's possible you may have a mold allergy.
Treatment for Allergies and Proper Sanitation
A simple skin test can determine if you do. The treatment may include over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestions. Also, your doctor may prescribe cortical steroids, nasal sprays and if that isn't doing the trick there are always allergy shots. To ease the symptoms, try wearing a dust mask when cleaning or gardening. Reduce indoor humidity to prevent mold from growing. Clean all garbage cans frequently, repair leaks right away and recycle all books and newspapers before spores build-up.