What are allergies like

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may at first feel love those of a freezing. But unlike a freezing that may incubate before causing discomfort, symptoms of allergies generally appear almost as soon as a person encounters an allergen, such as pollen or mold.

Symptoms include itchy eyes, ears, nose or throat, sneezing, irritability, nasal congestion and hoarseness. People may also experience cough, postnasal drip, sinus pressure or headaches, decreased sense of smell, snoring, sleep apnea, fatigue and asthma, Josephson said. [Oral Allergy Syndrome: 6 Ways to Avoid an Itchy, Tingling Mouth]

Many of these symptoms are the immune system’s overreaction as it attempts to protect the vital and sensitive respiratory system from exterior invaders.

The antibodies produced by the body hold the foreign invaders out, but also cause the symptoms characteristic of allergic responses.

People can develop hay fever at any age, but most people are diagnosed with the disorder in childhood or early adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms typically become less severe as people age.

Often, children may first experience food allergies and eczema, or itchy skin, before developing hay fever, Josephson said.

«This then worsens over the years, and patients then develop allergies to indoor allergens love dust and animals, or seasonal rhinitis, love ragweed, grass pollen, molds and tree pollen.»

Hay fever can also lead to other medical conditions. People who are allergic to weeds are more likely to get other allergies and develop asthma as they age, Josephson said. But those who get immunotherapy, such as allergy shots that assist people’s bodies get used to allergens, are less likely to develop asthma, he said.


Hay fever treatments

Dr. Sarita Patil, an allergist with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Allergy Associates in Boston, talked to Live Science about strategies for outdoor lovers with seasonal allergies.

Patil suggested figuring out exactly what type of pollen you’re allergic to, and then avoiding planning outdoor activities during peak pollinating times in the months when those plants are in bloom.

Numerous grasses, for example, typically pollinate in tardy spring and early summer and release most of their spores in the afternoon and early evening.

Her other strategies: Be capable to identify the pollen perpetrator by sight; monitor pollen counts before scheduling outdoor time; go exterior at a time of day when the plants that make you go achoo are not pollinating; and wear protective gear love sunglasses, among other tips.

[7 Strategies for Outdoor Lovers with Seasonal Allergies]

Allergy sufferers may also select to combat symptoms with medication designed to shut below or trick the immune sensitivity in the body. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, most allergy pills work by releasing chemicals into the body that bind naturally to histamine — the protein that reacts to the allergen and causes an immune response — negating the protein’s effect.

Other allergy remedies attack the symptoms at the source. Nasal sprays contain athletic ingredients that decongest by soothing irritated blood vessels in the nose, while eye drops both moisturize and reduce inflammation.

Doctors may also prescribe allergy shots, Josephson said.

For kids, allergy medications are tricky. A nationally representative poll of parents with kids between ages 6 and 12 found that 21% of parents said they had trouble figuring out the correct dose of allergy meds for their child; 15% of parents gave a kid an adult form of the allergy medicine, and 33% of these parents also gave their kid the adult dose of that medicine.

Doctors may also recommend allergy shots, a neti pot that can rinse the sinuses, or a Grossan Hydropulse — an irrigating system that cleans the nose of pollens, infection and environmental irritants, Josephson said.

Alternative and holistic options, along with acupuncture, may also assist people with hay fever, Josephson said.

People can also avoid pollen by keeping their windows closed in the spring, and by using air purifiers and air conditioners at home.

Probiotics may also be helpful in stopping those itchy eyes and runny noses. A review published in the journal International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology found that people who suffer from hay fever may benefit from using probiotics, or «good bacteria,» thought to promote a healthy gut.

Although the jury is still out on whether probiotics are an effective treatment for seasonal allergies, the researchers noted that these gut bacteria could hold the body’s immune system from flaring up in response to allergens — something that could reduce allergy symptoms. [5 Myths About Probiotics]

Additional resources:

This article was updated on April 30, , by Live Science Contributor Rachel Ross.

Hay fever treatments

Dr.

Sarita Patil, an allergist with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Allergy Associates in Boston, talked to Live Science about strategies for outdoor lovers with seasonal allergies.

Patil suggested figuring out exactly what type of pollen you’re allergic to, and then avoiding planning outdoor activities during peak pollinating times in the months when those plants are in bloom. Numerous grasses, for example, typically pollinate in tardy spring and early summer and release most of their spores in the afternoon and early evening.

Her other strategies: Be capable to identify the pollen perpetrator by sight; monitor pollen counts before scheduling outdoor time; go exterior at a time of day when the plants that make you go achoo are not pollinating; and wear protective gear love sunglasses, among other tips.

[7 Strategies for Outdoor Lovers with Seasonal Allergies]

Allergy sufferers may also select to combat symptoms with medication designed to shut below or trick the immune sensitivity in the body. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, most allergy pills work by releasing chemicals into the body that bind naturally to histamine — the protein that reacts to the allergen and causes an immune response — negating the protein’s effect.

Other allergy remedies attack the symptoms at the source. Nasal sprays contain athletic ingredients that decongest by soothing irritated blood vessels in the nose, while eye drops both moisturize and reduce inflammation.

Doctors may also prescribe allergy shots, Josephson said.

For kids, allergy medications are tricky. A nationally representative poll of parents with kids between ages 6 and 12 found that 21% of parents said they had trouble figuring out the correct dose of allergy meds for their child; 15% of parents gave a kid an adult form of the allergy medicine, and 33% of these parents also gave their kid the adult dose of that medicine.

Doctors may also recommend allergy shots, a neti pot that can rinse the sinuses, or a Grossan Hydropulse — an irrigating system that cleans the nose of pollens, infection and environmental irritants, Josephson said.

Alternative and holistic options, along with acupuncture, may also assist people with hay fever, Josephson said.

People can also avoid pollen by keeping their windows closed in the spring, and by using air purifiers and air conditioners at home.

Probiotics may also be helpful in stopping those itchy eyes and runny noses. A review published in the journal International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology found that people who suffer from hay fever may benefit from using probiotics, or «good bacteria,» thought to promote a healthy gut. Although the jury is still out on whether probiotics are an effective treatment for seasonal allergies, the researchers noted that these gut bacteria could hold the body’s immune system from flaring up in response to allergens — something that could reduce allergy symptoms.

[5 Myths About Probiotics]

Additional resources:

This article was updated on April 30, , by Live Science Contributor Rachel Ross.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When a person is allergic to something, the immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harming the body.

Substances that cause allergic reactions — such as some foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines — are known as allergens.

Allergies are a major cause of illness in the United States.

Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of kids, own some type of allergy. In fact, allergies cause about 2 million missed school days each year.

Who Gets Allergies?

The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed below through genes from parents to their kids. But just because you, your partner, or one of your children might own allergies doesn’t mean that every of your kids will definitely get them. And someone generally doesn’t inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.

Some kids own allergies even if no family member is allergic, and those who are allergic to one thing are likely to be allergic to others.

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?

Some allergies are fairly simple to identify but others are less obvious because they can be similar to other conditions.

If your kid has cold-like symptoms lasting longer than a week or two or develops a «cold» at the same time every year, talk with your doctor, who might diagnose an allergy and prescribe medicines, or may refer you to an allergist(a doctor who is an expert in the treatment of allergies) for allergy tests.

To discover the cause of an allergy, allergists generally do skin tests for the most common environmental and food allergens.

A skin test can work in one of two ways:

  • A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a little pricking device.
  • Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.
  • Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas.

    Most formulas are cow’s milk-based. Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  • Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others. Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.
  • A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin.

    This test stings a little but isn’t painful.

  • coughing
  • You can inhale allergens into your nose and your lungs. Many are little enough to float through the air. Examples are pollen, home dust, mold spores, cat and dog dander and latex dust.
  • itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  • sneezing
  • Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  • Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.
  • a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
  • Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  • stuffy nose
  • hoarseness
  • Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often calledhay fever or rose fever).

    Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

    Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can assist people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are generally higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.

  • Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids.

    Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.

  • Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow. Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.
  • Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  • swelling
  • Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives.

    Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • Moldsare fungi that thrive both indoors and exterior in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements.

    Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

  • If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  • Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.
  • Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions.

    Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.

  • Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite. But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.
  • wheezing
  • throat tightness
  • Your body can own allergens injected into it. This includes medicine given by needle and venom from insect stings and bites.

  • You can ingest allergens by mouth. This includes food and medicines you eat or swallow.
  • hives
  • Dust mites are microscopic insects that live every around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that drop off our bodies every day. They’re the main allergic component of home dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.
  • stomachache
  • Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  • coughing
  • itchy nose and/or throat
  • trouble breathing
  • Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews.

    Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.

  • Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.
  • Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  • Your skin can absorb allergens. Plants such as poison ivy, sumac and oak can cause reactions when touched.

    Latex, metals, and ingredients in beauty care and household products are other examples.

After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area (like a mosquito bite) appears at the site, the test is positive.

Blood tests may be done instead for kids with skin conditions, those who are on certain medicines, or those who are extremely sensitive to a specific allergen.

Even if testing shows an allergy, a kid also must own symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a toddler who has a positive test for dust mites and sneezes a lot while playing on the floor would be considered allergic to dust mites.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergies?

The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and person to person.

Allergies may show up as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, throat tightness, trouble breathing, vomiting, and even fainting or passing out.

Kids with severe allergies (such as those to food, medicine, or insect venom) can be at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to an allergen or not until a few hours later (if the reaction is from a food).

So doctors will desire anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency.

Epinephrine works quickly against serious allergy symptoms; for example, it reduces swelling and raises low blood pressure.

Airborne Allergy Symptoms

Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which generally develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and

Symptoms can include:

  1. sneezing
  2. itchy nose and/or throat
  3. stuffy nose
  4. coughing

When symptoms also include itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis.

What are allergies like

(Dark circles that sometimes show up around the eyes are called allergic «shiners.»)

Common Airborne Allergens

Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air):

  1. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live every around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that drop off our bodies every day. They’re the main allergic component of home dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.
  2. Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often calledhay fever or rose fever).

    What are allergies like

    Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

    Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can assist people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are generally higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.

  3. Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva.

    When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home.

    What are allergies like

    Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.

  4. Moldsare fungi that thrive both indoors and exterior in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.
  5. Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities.

    Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.

Airborne Allergies

To assist kids avoid airborne allergens:

  1. Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  2. Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  3. If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  4. Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  5. Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  6. Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  7. Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.

Other Common Allergens

  1. Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite.

    But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.

  2. Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.
  3. Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction.

    Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Some kids also own what are called cross-reactions. For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might own symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen. And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy (found in latex gloves and some kinds of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to foods likekiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.

How Are Allergies Treated?

There’s no cure for allergies, but symptoms can be managed.

The best way to manage with them is to avoid the allergens. That means that parents must educate their kids early and often, not only about the allergy itself, but also about the reactions they can own if they consume or come into contact with the allergen.

Telling every caregivers (childcare staff, teachers, family members, parents of your child’s friends, etc.) about your child’s allergy is also important.

If avoiding environmental allergens isn’t possible or doesn’t assist, doctors might prescribe medicines, including antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays.

(Many of these also are available without a prescription.)

In some cases, doctors recommend allergy shots(immunotherapy) to assist desensitize a person to an allergen. But allergy shots are only helpful for allergens such as dust, mold, pollens, animals, and insect stings. They’re not used for food allergies.

Food, Medicines, or Insect Allergy Symptoms

  1. wheezing
  2. hoarseness
  3. hives
  4. swelling
  5. trouble breathing
  6. diarrhea
  7. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  8. stomachache
  9. coughing
  10. throat tightness
  11. vomiting
  12. a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Allergic reactions can vary.

Sometimes, a person can own a mild reaction that affects only one body system, love hives on the skin. Other times, the reaction can be more serious and involve more than one part of the body. A mild reaction in the past does not mean that future reactions will be mild.

How Do Allergies Happen?

An allergy happens when the immune system& overreacts to an allergen, treating it as an invader and trying to fight it off.

What are allergies like

This causes symptoms that can range from annoying to serious or even life-threatening.

In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals (including histamine) into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen «invader.»

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.

Some allergies are seasonal and happen only at certain times of the year (like when pollen counts are high); others can happen anytime someone comes in contact with an allergen.

So, when a person with a food allergy eats that specific food or someone who’s allergic to dust mites is exposed to them, they will own an allergic reaction.

What Things Cause Allergies?

Common Food Allergens

Up to 2 million, or 8%, of kids in the United States are affected by food allergies. Eight foods account for most of those: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

  1. Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas.

    Most formulas are cow’s milk-based. Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  2. Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.
  3. Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids. Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas.

    Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.

  4. Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews. Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.
  5. Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow. Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.
  6. Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others.

    Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

Food Allergies

Kids with food allergies must completely avoid products made with their allergens. This can be tough as allergens are found in numerous unexpected foods and products.

Always read labels to see if a packaged food contains your child’s allergen.

Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state in understandable language whether foods contain any of the top eight most common allergens. This label requirement makes things a little easier. But it’s significant to remember that «safe» foods could become unsafe if food companies change ingredients, processes, or production locations.

Cross-contamination means that the allergen is not one of the ingredients in a product, but might own come into contact with it during production or packaging. Companies are not required to label for cross-contamination risk, though some voluntarily do so.

You may see statements such as «May contain…,» «Processed in a facility that also processes…,» or «Manufactured on equipment also used for ….»

Because products without such statements also might be cross-contaminated and the company did not label for it, it’s always best to contact the company to see if the product could contain your child’s allergen.

What are allergies like

Glance for this information on the company’s website or email a company representative.

Cross-contamination also can happen at home or in restaurants when kitchen surfaces or utensils are used for diverse foods.

What Are the Symptoms of an Allergy?

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. Allergens can get into your body numerous ways to cause an allergic reaction.

  1. You can inhale allergens into your nose and your lungs. Many are little enough to float through the air.

    Examples are pollen, home dust, mold spores, cat and dog dander and latex dust.

  2. You can ingest allergens by mouth. This includes food and medicines you eat or swallow.
  3. Your body can own allergens injected into it. This includes medicine given by needle and venom from insect stings and bites.
  4. Your skin can absorb allergens. Plants such as poison ivy, sumac and oak can cause reactions when touched. Latex, metals, and ingredients in beauty care and household products are other examples.

After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area (like a mosquito bite) appears at the site, the test is positive.

Blood tests may be done instead for kids with skin conditions, those who are on certain medicines, or those who are extremely sensitive to a specific allergen.

Even if testing shows an allergy, a kid also must own symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy.

For example, a toddler who has a positive test for dust mites and sneezes a lot while playing on the floor would be considered allergic to dust mites.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergies?

The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and person to person. Allergies may show up as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, throat tightness, trouble breathing, vomiting, and even fainting or passing out.

Kids with severe allergies (such as those to food, medicine, or insect venom) can be at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to an allergen or not until a few hours later (if the reaction is from a food).

So doctors will desire anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency.

Epinephrine works quickly against serious allergy symptoms; for example, it reduces swelling and raises low blood pressure.

Airborne Allergy Symptoms

Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which generally develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and

Symptoms can include:

  1. sneezing
  2. itchy nose and/or throat
  3. stuffy nose
  4. coughing

When symptoms also include itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis.

(Dark circles that sometimes show up around the eyes are called allergic «shiners.»)

Common Airborne Allergens

Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air):

  1. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live every around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that drop off our bodies every day. They’re the main allergic component of home dust.

    Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

  2. Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often calledhay fever or rose fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

    Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can assist people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day.

    Pollen counts are generally higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.

  3. Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.
  4. Moldsare fungi that thrive both indoors and exterior in warm, moist environments.

    Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

  5. Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.

Airborne Allergies

To assist kids avoid airborne allergens:

  1. Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  2. Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  3. If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  4. Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  5. Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  6. Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  7. Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.

Other Common Allergens

  1. Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite.

    But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.

  2. Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.
  3. Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Some kids also own what are called cross-reactions.

For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might own symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen. And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy (found in latex gloves and some kinds of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to foods likekiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.

How Are Allergies Treated?

There’s no cure for allergies, but symptoms can be managed.

The best way to manage with them is to avoid the allergens. That means that parents must educate their kids early and often, not only about the allergy itself, but also about the reactions they can own if they consume or come into contact with the allergen.

Telling every caregivers (childcare staff, teachers, family members, parents of your child’s friends, etc.) about your child’s allergy is also important.

If avoiding environmental allergens isn’t possible or doesn’t assist, doctors might prescribe medicines, including antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays.

(Many of these also are available without a prescription.)

In some cases, doctors recommend allergy shots(immunotherapy) to assist desensitize a person to an allergen. But allergy shots are only helpful for allergens such as dust, mold, pollens, animals, and insect stings. They’re not used for food allergies.

Food, Medicines, or Insect Allergy Symptoms

  1. wheezing
  2. hoarseness
  3. hives
  4. swelling
  5. trouble breathing
  6. diarrhea
  7. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  8. stomachache
  9. coughing
  10. throat tightness
  11. vomiting
  12. a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Allergic reactions can vary.

Sometimes, a person can own a mild reaction that affects only one body system, love hives on the skin. Other times, the reaction can be more serious and involve more than one part of the body. A mild reaction in the past does not mean that future reactions will be mild.

How Do Allergies Happen?

An allergy happens when the immune system& overreacts to an allergen, treating it as an invader and trying to fight it off. This causes symptoms that can range from annoying to serious or even life-threatening.

In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals (including histamine) into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen «invader.»

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions.

Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.

Some allergies are seasonal and happen only at certain times of the year (like when pollen counts are high); others can happen anytime someone comes in contact with an allergen. So, when a person with a food allergy eats that specific food or someone who’s allergic to dust mites is exposed to them, they will own an allergic reaction.

What Things Cause Allergies?

Common Food Allergens

Up to 2 million, or 8%, of kids in the United States are affected by food allergies.

Eight foods account for most of those: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

  1. Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas. Most formulas are cow’s milk-based. Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.
  2. Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents.

    Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.

  3. Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids. Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.
  4. Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews. Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.
  5. Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow.

    Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.

  6. Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others. Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

Food Allergies

Kids with food allergies must completely avoid products made with their allergens.

This can be tough as allergens are found in numerous unexpected foods and products.

Always read labels to see if a packaged food contains your child’s allergen. Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state in understandable language whether foods contain any of the top eight most common allergens. This label requirement makes things a little easier. But it’s significant to remember that «safe» foods could become unsafe if food companies change ingredients, processes, or production locations.

Cross-contamination means that the allergen is not one of the ingredients in a product, but might own come into contact with it during production or packaging.

Companies are not required to label for cross-contamination risk, though some voluntarily do so. You may see statements such as «May contain…,» «Processed in a facility that also processes…,» or «Manufactured on equipment also used for ….»

Because products without such statements also might be cross-contaminated and the company did not label for it, it’s always best to contact the company to see if the product could contain your child’s allergen. Glance for this information on the company’s website or email a company representative.

Cross-contamination also can happen at home or in restaurants when kitchen surfaces or utensils are used for diverse foods.

What Are the Symptoms of an Allergy?

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it.

The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. Allergens can get into your body numerous ways to cause an allergic reaction.

  1. You can inhale allergens into your nose and your lungs. Many are little enough to float through the air. Examples are pollen, home dust, mold spores, cat and dog dander and latex dust.

    What are allergies like

  2. You can ingest allergens by mouth. This includes food and medicines you eat or swallow.
  3. Your body can own allergens injected into it. This includes medicine given by needle and venom from insect stings and bites.
  4. Your skin can absorb allergens. Plants such as poison ivy, sumac and oak can cause reactions when touched. Latex, metals, and ingredients in beauty care and household products are other examples.


Common allergens

The most common allergen is pollen, a powder released by trees, grasses and weeds that fertilize the seeds of neighboring plants.

As plants rely on the wind to do the work for them, the pollination season sees billions of microscopic particles fill the air, and some of them finish up in people’s noses and mouths.

Spring bloomers include ash, birch, cedar, elm and maple trees, plus numerous species of grass. Weeds pollinate in the tardy summer and drop, with ragweed being the most volatile.

The pollen that sits on brightly colored flowers is rarely responsible for hay fever because it is heavier and falls to the ground rather than becoming airborne. Bees and other insects carry flower pollen from one flower to the next without ever bothering human noses.

Mold allergies are diverse.

Mold is a spore that grows on rotting logs, dead leaves and grasses. While dry-weather mold species exist, numerous types of mold thrive in moist, rainy conditions, and release their spores overnight. During both the spring and drop allergy seasons, pollen is released mainly in the morning hours and travels best on dry, warm and breezy days.


What Is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis (anna-fih-LACK-sis) is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

It happens quick and may cause death. Symptoms generally involve more than one part of the body, such as the skin or mouth, the lungs, the heart and the gut. Study more about anaphylaxis.


Pollen count

How do scientists know how much pollen is in the air? They set a trap. The trap — generally a glass plate or rod coated with adhesive — is analyzed every few hours, and the number of particles collected is then averaged to reflect the particles that would pass through the area in any hour period.

That measurement is converted to pollen per cubic meter. Mold counts work much the same way.

A pollen count is an imprecise measurement, scientists confess, and an arduous one — at the analysis stage, pollen grains are counted one by one under a microscope. It is also highly time-consuming to discern between types of pollen, so they are generally bundled into one variable. Given the imprecise nature of the measurement, entire daily pollen counts are often reported simply as low, moderate or high.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology provides up-to-date pollen counts for U.S.

states.


Tests & diagnosis

A physician will consider patient history and act out a thorough physical examination if a person reports having hay-fever-like symptoms. If necessary, the physician will do an allergy test. According to the Mayo Clinic, people can get a skin-prick test, in which doctors prick the skin on a person’s arm or upper back with diverse substances to see if any cause an allergic reaction, such as a raised bump called a hive.

[7 Strange Signs You’re Having an Allergic Reaction]

Blood tests for allergies are also available. This test rates the immune system’s response to a specific allergen by measuring the quantity of allergy-causing antibodies in the bloodstream, according to the Mayo Clinic.


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