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10 Allergy Triggers

Posted by Gerhard Fourie on

Written on the 5 August 2013 by The Compounding Team

Below you will find 10 Triggers that might be the cause of an allergy. Allergies can be mildly irritating to absolutely debilitating and even life threatening in severe cases. Symptoms may vary form person to person and so the severity of the reaction. The items below are not the only triggers, nor are they intended to diagnose of cure a condition. If in doubt please consult your physician.

1. Pollen pollution
Pollen pollution Pollen is produced by vegetation – trees, grass and flowering plants – and is spread by air. When inhaled, pollen triggers a reaction in people who are allergic to it. Most plant life releases pollen into the air from spring to autumn, but there are also some plants that produce pollen in winter. The major allergens are: Grass pollens: Bermuda grass, Rye grass Tree pollens: Oak, Olive, Eucalyptus, Acacia Weed pollens: Mugwort, Sheep sorrell.

2. Dust mite danger
It’s disconcerting that bugs live in your bed, but there are plenty of them. They’re called house dust mites and they might quietly live off the flakes of skin you shed, or they can make your life hell. Regular vacuuming and cleaning will reduce the allergens in a home. Bedding needs to be washed every few days and pets need to be banned from the allergy-sufferer’s bedroom. If the presence of the pet is intolerable to the allergy sufferer, another home must be found for it.

3. Scent to kill
Perfume is one of the most common causes of allergic contact eczema. Although perfume allergy is seen more often in women, it can also affect men and teens. According to the Nation Allergy Research centre: perfume is a mixture of fragrances, and these fragrances work together to give a characteristic scent. Fragrances are volatile and each fragrance evaporates at a different rate. This is why when you wear a perfume, the scent changes over time.

4. The insect bite fight
Some people are allergic to insect bites and experience itchy bumps, itching and swelling in areas of the body other than the bite area. There might be tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face and tongue. Only a small percentage of people develop an anaphylactic reaction which may be life-threatening. Insect bites are commonly caused by mites, spiders, fleas, mosquitoes, ants, lice and bedbugs. The usual reaction is an itchy lump in the area of the bite.

5. Mould in the home
If wet weather has become synonymous with mould in your home, it’s time to act. Apart from being an eyesore, mould could pose a health risk. Millions of people suffer from allergic rhinitis (aka hay fever), and mould is one of several triggers especially in summertime. Mould allergy symptoms peak summer; as humidity rises, the fungi, which flourish in damp, warm conditions, grow on dead grass and leaves, straw and other plants.

6. Food allergy alert
Food allergy is more common in children. Symptoms are usually confined to the digestive tract, but other parts of the body may also be involved. Avoidance of the offending food is the mainstay of treatment. True food allergy is less common than popularly believed. It is estimated that only between 1% and 4% of the general population suffers from a definite food allergy. In selected groups, such as children with eczema, the prevalence of food allergy may be as high as 60%.

7. Allergic to latex?
Latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree, and this sap contains proteins that can be an allergy trigger for some people. Upon contact with latex, they immediately show an allergic reaction. This can be problematic, given that many items used in the health care business are made of latex, such as condoms - which could cause a burning sensation. Some people experience mild reactions when they use latex. (This is referred to as a latex sensitivity.)

8. Peanut allergy alert
Nut allergy is a serious and usually life-long allergy affecting both children and adults. The commonest manifestation of nut allergy is with acute hives (or urticaria) following exposure. However, some patients may rapidly develop severe angioedema, swelling of the face, bronchospasm and anaphylaxis following exposure. Some individuals are so sensitive that they will develop symptoms if they kiss someone who has eaten nuts, or eat out of a utensil which has been in contact with peanuts.

9. Do you live in a roach motel?
Cockroaches are creepy; who in their right mind likes them? But more than that, the proteins that their faeces contain can irritate the skin and cause an allergic reaction. Even the cleanest houses can sometimes have cockroaches. They thrive where they have food, water and places to hide, so the first step is to reduce their supplies of these. Remember these insects are generally nocturnal, and like hiding in dark cracks and crevices during the day.

10. Fur vs sneeze and wheeze
As adorable as dogs and cats are, the oil they secrete to coat their hair contains protein that can cause allergic reactions. The sad thing about it is that allergy to animal dander can develop over time and can end the relationship between a pet and its master. Animal fur doesn’t cause allergies itself, but can collect dust, pollen, mould and other allergens. The major problem with animals is their skin, which flakes off and can be allergenic. Pet dander is everywhere – a study found that it was present in 100% of the homes surveyed, whether a pet lived there or not.

Always read the label on any medication and use only as directed. Vitamin and other supplements should not replace a balanced diet, or exercise, unless so instructed by your medical practitioner. If symptoms persist, seek further health advice. The information presented above is not intended to replace the advice of your medical practitioner.

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