Common Causes Of Allergies


Common Causes Of Allergies

Are you often bothered by a runny nose, watery eyes, headaches, fatigue, itchy throat, and similar symptoms? Then you are probably suffering the effects of an allergy. There are several causes of allergies, ranging from food to insect bites. Oftentimes allergies can be misdiagnosed as the common cold. However, when these symptoms persist, it is important to try to identify the allergen, or the cause of the allergic reaction.

No one knows for sure why one person has an allergic reaction to a particular substance, while another person does not. However, it has been found that children, whose parents have allergic reactions, tend to be predisposed to allergies. Of interest, is the fact that a child will not necessarily be affected by the same allergen that has an effect on their parent.

Allergens can enter the body by various methods, they can be breathed in, touched, eaten, or injected. However they enter, they are viewed by the body as being harmful, and as a result, the immune system produces histamines and other chemicals, to combat the invasion. These are the early stages of an allergy. The response will be the same, each time you are exposed to the allergen in the future.

Allergies can be triggered by breathing in certain irritants. Some of the more common ones are pollen, animal dander, mold, and dust mites. These airborne allergens are very difficult to battle because they are all around in the atmosphere. In the case of pollen, these are constantly released into the air by trees, flowers, and grasses, and are especially prevalent during the summer, spring, and fall seasons.

In terms of touch, substances like latex can cause allergic reactions. Latex is made of rubber, which contains high levels of protein. Latex products include rubber bands, gloves, and balloons. The allergic reaction is due to the response of the immune system, when an individual comes in contact with the natural rubber latex. Symptoms of this type of allergy can include runny nose, sneezing, hives, and an itchy throat.

Certain foods can trigger allergies. Some of the more popular ones are: eggs and milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and tree nuts. It is the proteins in food that is usually the cause of allergies. These are generally not broken down during cooking, or by digestive enzymes, and as a result, they precipitate allergic reactions in the body. Common symptoms of food allergy include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

An allergic reaction to medication can also occur. One of the drugs that persons tend to be especially allergic to is penicillin, or antibiotics which are penicillin based. Painkillers such as codeine and morphine are also known to cause allergic reactions. Reactions can range from mild symptoms like rashes, to life threatening symptoms that can affect vital organ systems.

Insect stings can also cause an allergic reaction when the body overreacts to the insect venom. The insects that commonly cause this response are honeybees, ants, and wasps. These all have a venom sac on their tail, which they use to inject the venom into a victim.

In rare cases, a serious allergic reaction known as Anaphylactic shock can occur, this can lead to dizziness, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing and sometimes death, and therefore requires immediate treatment. As we have noted, the causes of allergies are various. However, once identified, every effort should be made to either avoid the allergen, or treat the symptoms of the condition.