For the over 55% of Americans who suffer from allergies, the condition is normally viewed as a minor annoyance. However, there are instances in which persons have had severe allergic reactions that have required hospitalization, but these are rare. There are a range of allergens that can cause a reaction, these include, dust, pollen, pet dander, and certain foods. It is sometimes very difficult to pinpoint the cause of an allergy, and some persons revert to skin and blood tests in order to do so. Once identified, the allergy can be treated with the use of prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medication.
An allergy is normally described as being oversensitive to a substance that is not really harmless per se. It is not clear why one person will have an adverse reaction to a particular substance, which will have no affect whatever on another person. However, studies have indicated that allergic tendencies are often hereditary. Parents, who suffer from allergies, will often have children who are more prone to sensitive reactions. However, the allergen that triggers the allergic reaction will not need to be the same.
The most common allergens are pollen, dust, mold, food, and animal dander. Pollen is the fine powdery particle that plays a very important role in plant reproduction. These particles are commonly found in grass, weeds and trees and are known to trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. The irritants can cause reactions in the eyes, nose and throat.
Pollen allergens are usually breathed in, so they tend to affect the airways, the sinuses, and mucus membranes. They also tend to affect the eyes, which have no protection against the airborne invaders, as well as the throat and lungs. Symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, and watery itchy eyes.
Allergy to pet dander is another common allergy. Pets are continuously shedding bits of hair or skin, and the protein found in these, as well as in a pet's urine and saliva may cause allergic reactions. Pets, especially dogs and cats, are found in many American households; therefore this allergy is a very common one. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and watery, itchy eyes.
Some people also experience an allergic reaction to animals like mice, hamsters, birds, rabbits, and horses. In order to alleviate this problem, animal lovers often have turn to medication in order to get relief from their symptoms.
Allergy to dust mites is another prevalent allergic reaction suffered by many Americans. Dust mines are very tiny organizations that usually make their home indoors. They thrive in warm places like upholstered furniture, pillows, mattresses, carpets, and stuffed animals. They live all year round, and feed on the skin particles shed by humans and animals. The waste from these organisms can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy nose. Persons who suffer from this allergy are advised to clean bed linen, rugs and carpets regularly, and at high temperatures.
Common allergies are generally treated with the use of antihistamines. This will provide relief from the more troublesome symptoms, and will also counteract the allergen.
Source by Joel Gray