What can cause allergies in the house
What is asthma?
Asthma is a condition that causes swelling and inflammation inside the airways of the lungs. This inflammation and swelling is there to a greater or lesser degree every the time in people with more inflammation there is the harder it becomes to breathe. People with asthma also own over-sensitive airways, so their airways react to triggers that do not affect other people. When sufferers come into contact with something that irritates their airways (a trigger), it can cause their airways to narrow. Read more
Atopic Eczema (Dermatitis)
Eczema is a pattern of itchy skin rash consisting of tiny pink bumps that may join together producing ill-defined pink or red patches.
There are numerous types of eczema – some own known causes. Dermatitis is the term used for eczema reactions that are caused by external agents/factors. Atopic eczema is often referred to as “infantile” of childhood eczema because that is when it generally develops. Atopic eczema is generally associated with allergies (hayfever or asthma) in either the affected individuals or in their shut relatives. Read more
Rhinitis means inflammation of the lining of the nose Rhinitis is defined clinically as symptoms of runny nose itching, sneezing and nasal blockage (congestion)..
Common causes of rhinitis are allergies which may be seasonal (‘hayfever’) or happen all-year-round (examples include allergy to home dust mite, cats, dogs and moulds).Infections which may be acute or chronic represent another common cause. Rhinitis (whether due to allergic or other causes) is a risk factor for the development of asthma. Rhinitis is also implicated in otitis media with effusion and in sinusitis which should rightly be termed rhinosinusitis since sinus inflammation almost always involves the nasal passages as well.
Prescription drugs own been through a rigorous process of testing to ensure safety, despite this, a minority of individuals will develop side-effects. Side- effects are termed “adverse drug reactions” by doctors and although the majority of adverse drug reactions are relatively minor and may even permit continuation with the drug, in some cases more severe symptoms can more
Allergy in Children
The bulk of allergic disease occurs in childhood, with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema and food allergy comprising a significant percentage of the workload of doctors dealing with children in primary care and hospital paediatric departments.
In a recent large UK survey, 20% of children were reported to own had asthma in the previous year, 18% had allergic rhino conjunctivitis (hay fever) and 16% had eczema.
This represents a massive increase in prevalence compared with similar studies in the s where prevalence rates were 3 fold lower. Of these children 47% had at least two co-existing conditions e.g. asthma and eczema. Read more
Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
If someone reacts to a food, they may own a Food Hypersensitivity (FHS). FHS reactions involving the immune system are known as food allergy (FA), every other reactions are classified as food intolerances (FI). Read more
The allergic process can affect the skin producing 2 main types of rashes namely urticaria (hives, nettlerash, welts) or eczema (see atopic dermatitis section).
Urticaria is a red itchy bumpy rash that is often short-lived and can appear in various shapes and sizes anywhere on the is extremely common affecting 1 in 5 of the population at sometime in their some people urticaria is accompanied by large dramatic swellings commonly affecting lips, eyelids, tongue and hand called angioedema.
What is allergy?
Allergy is an immunological hypersensitivity mediated by immunoglobulin E antibody (IgE). It is not a disease itself, but a mechanism leading to diseases such as rhinoconjunctivitis, urticaria, asthma and anaphylaxis. A normally harmless substance — love pollen, food or cat saliva — will cause the immune system to defend the body against it. In an allergic reaction the mast cells release a chemical called histamine, which is the primary cause for the allergic symptoms.
Allergies can be seen in numerous organs, but most commonly they affect the skin and mucous membranes, as these are the barriers between the body and the exterior environment.
Pollen allergy causes itching in the eyes and a runny nose.
Contact allergies can induce a rash. Food allergies cause itching in the mouth as well as abdominal pain and vomiting. The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis.
It can rapidly lead to a life-threatening condition where blood pressure drops and breathing may be obstructed because of throat swelling.
Allergy often starts at an early age. In most cases it persists through the life, but the symptoms may decrease, and some people outgrow their allergy entirely.
Sometimes other reactions are incorrectly referred to as allergy. For example, irritating or toxic substances can cause symptoms in the skin or abdomen that resemble an allergic reaction.
Occasionally, sensitivity to certain foods, such as lactose intolerance, is also being called allergy. However, only the immune-mediated hypersensitivity is true allergy.
Allergy starts with a sensitization phase that doesn’t yet cause allergic symptoms, but wires the immune system to recognize the allergen. The actual allergic reaction is launched upon the next encounter of the allergen and every time after that.
The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the substance that you’re allergic to, although this is not always simple or practical.
Below is some practical advice that should assist you avoid the most common allergens.
House dust mites
One of the biggest causes of allergies are dust mites, which are tiny insects found in household dust.
You can limit the number of mites in your home by:
- fitting roller blinds that can be easily wiped clean
- choosing leather, plastic or vinyl furniture instead of upholstered furniture
- using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, as it can trap more dust mites than ordinary vacuum cleaners
- cleaning cushions, soft toys, curtains and upholstered furniture regularly, either by washing (at a high temperature) or vacuuming
- choosing wood or hard vinyl floor coverings instead of a carpet
- using tested allergy-proof covers on mattresses, duvets and pillows
- regularly wiping surfaces with a damp, clean cloth – avoid dry dusting, as this can spread dust into the air
Concentrate your efforts of controlling dust mites in the areas of your home where you spend the most time, such as the bedroom and living room.
You can discover more information on allergies in the home on the Allergy UK website.
Tiny particles released by moulds can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
You can assist prevent this by:
- keeping your home dry and well ventilated
- removing any indoor pot plants from your home
- dealing with any damp and condensation in your home
- not drying clothes indoors, not storing clothes in damp cupboards, and avoiding packing clothes too tightly in wardrobes
- avoiding damp buildings, damp woods and rotten leaves, cut grass and compost heaps
By law, food manufacturers must clearly label any foods that contain something that’s known to cause allergic reactions in some people.
By carefully checking the label for the list of ingredients, you should be capable to avoid an allergic reaction.
People with food allergies most often experience an allergic reaction while eating out at a restaurant.
You can avoid this by:
- not relying on the menu description alone (remember, numerous sauces or dressings could contain allergens)
- communicating clearly with the waiting staff and asking for their advice
- letting restaurant staff know your dietary requirements, including how severe your food allergy or intolerance is
- avoiding places where there’s a chance that diverse types of food could come into contact with each other, such as buffets or bakeries
- always checking what allergens are in the dish, even if you own eaten it before, as recipes and ingredients can change
Remember, simple dishes are less likely to contain «hidden» ingredients.
If you’re not certain about a dish, do not risk it.
Read more about living with a food allergy and get advice from the Food Standards Agency on food allergen labelling.
Pollen allergies, more commonly known as hay fever, are caused when trees and grasses release pollen into the air.
Doctors often call hay fever allergic rhinitis.
Different plants pollinate at diverse times of the year, so the months you get hay fever will depend on what sort of pollen you’re allergic to.
Typically, people are affected during spring (trees) and summer (grasses).
To help keep your hay fever under control, you can:
- avoid drying clothes and bedding exterior when the pollen count is high
- wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes
- avoid grassy areas, such as parks and fields, particularly in the early morning, evening or night, when the pollen count is highest
- keep doors and windows shut when possible
- check weather reports for the pollen count and stay indoors when it’s high, if possible
- shower and change your clothes after being exterior
- if you own a lawn, try asking someone else to cut the grass for you
Find out how to prevent hay fever
It’s not pet fur that causes an allergic reaction.
Instead, it’s flakes of their dead skin, saliva and dried urine.
If you cannot permanently remove a pet from the home, you could try:
- not allowing pets in bedrooms
- washing pets at least once a week
- using an air filter in rooms where you spend most of your time
- regularly grooming pets exterior
- keeping pets exterior as much as possible, or limiting them to a specific area of the home, preferably an area without carpet
- regularly washing every bedding and soft furnishings pets lie on
- increasing ventilation with fans or air conditioning, or by opening windows
If you’re visiting a friend or relative with a pet, enquire them not to dust or vacuum on the day you’re visiting, as this will stir up the allergens into the air.
Taking an antihistamine medicine about an hour before entering a pet-inhabited home can also assist reduce your symptoms.
The Allergy UK website has more information about domestic pet allergies.