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Over 50 million Americans have allergic reactions to something. But not all allergies are the same. Here is a rundown of some of the most common allergies and their symptoms:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies affect over 6 percent of children and 4 percent of adults in the United States. Although most common in babies and children, food allergies can occur at any age. In fact, you can develop allergies to foods you’ve been eating since childhood. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), soy, wheat, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, and eggs account for about 90 percent of all food allergies. Symptoms of food allergies include:
Sometimes, reactions can instantaneously affect different parts of the body (e.g. have a stomach ache, accompanied by a rash).
Allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) is a type of allergy associated with runny (often stuffy) nose, skin, mouth, and eye irritation. According to ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology), allergic rhinitis affects around 50 million people in the United States. Like most skin allergies, this condition develops when your body’s immune system becomes sensitive, and overreacts to substances in the environment that normally don’t affect most people.
Although this type of allergy is sometimes referred to as hay fever, you do not have to be exposed to hay to have the symptoms. You also won’t necessarily get a fever. It is normally caused by pet hair, dust mites, weeds, grass, pollen, and mold spores, among many others. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
As the name suggests, dust allergies are associated with dust. The symptoms are normally worse during or immediately after dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming. Dust allergies make it hard to breathe and may trigger symptoms associated with asthma such as shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing. Dust allergies are normally triggered by feathers, fur, pet hair, pollen, mold, cockroaches, and dust mites. The symptoms of dust allergies include:
If you develop hives, rashes, or have difficulty breathing after taking certain medications, you may have a drug allergy. As with the other allergies, your immune system may react defensively towards certain medication constituents, perceiving them as threats to your body. People with drug allergies may experience allergic reactions towards a certain drug, regardless of whether they take them in the form of injections, pills, or liquid. According to ACAAI, some of the common triggers of drug allergies include chemotherapy drugs, ibuprofen, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), anticonvulsants, antibiotics containing sulfonamides (sulfa drugs), and penicillin and related drugs. The common symptoms of drug allergies include:
Latex is a natural rubber made from the milk sap of a certain Brazilian rubber tree called Hevea brasiliensis. Latex is used in making a variety of products including IV tubing and gloves. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 6 percent of the American population have latex allergies. In most cases, latex allergies can range from mild to severe, although it can also be life-threatening. People who are at a higher risk of developing this type of allergy include;
The most common symptoms associated with latex allergy include:
Although beauty products can sometimes elevate your appearance and confidence, they can also irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. In fact, according to a study conducted in 2011, more than a third of the test group had at least one allergic reaction to certain cosmetic ingredients. Cosmetic allergies can also range from a simple rash to full-blown allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. The reaction can also start immediately after you use a product, or develop even after years of using a certain product. Allergic reactions to cosmetics normally occur on the neck, ears, eyes, lips, and face, but can also affect other parts of your body. Symptoms of cosmetic allergies may include:
Typically, mold allergies cause the same symptoms caused by other types of upper respiratory allergies, such as pollen allergies. There are hundreds of mold species out there, most of which are not visible to the naked eye. As these tiny substances become airborne, they can cause the following allergic reactions in people who have mold allergies:
It is believed that over 10 percent of the U.S. population has pet allergies, and cats are among the most common culprits. In fact, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Although most people think that cat allergies are caused by the cat’s fur, the allergy is caused by the multiple allergens that cats produce. These allergens are normally found in the cat’s saliva, fur, and dried flakes of the skin (dander). Depending on the level of exposure to cats’ allergens and an individual’s sensitivity, a cat allergy can range from mild to severe. These variables may also influence how quickly symptoms may develop after exposure. The symptoms of a cat allergy may include:
If you wheeze, sneeze, or get a runny nose when you play or come into contact with a dog, you may be allergic to them. Like cats, dogs also produce multiple allergens that may cause allergic reactions in some people. Similarly, these allergens are found in the dogs’ urine, saliva, dander, and fur. All types of dogs produce these allergens – so if you are allergic to one species of a dog, you are also likely to be allergic to other species. Symptoms of a dog allergy may include:
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