Allergies are common, as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children in the U.S. have allergies. Knowing how to avoid your allergens is important, and recognizing an allergic reaction can save your life. Let’s look at some common allergens, some symptoms and what to do if you have a serious reaction.
Some common allergens include things like pollen, certain trees or grasses, insect bites, medications, latex and many different foods like seafood, peanuts, and eggs. The key to avoiding your particular allergens is by knowing what they are; allergy tests are available which can nail this down for you.
There are as many different symptoms of allergies as there are allergens themselves. For this reason, it is important that you notice when something seems amiss. This is especially important when taking new medications or traveling to a new area.
- Outdoor allergens like pollens, plants, and grasses are most frequently to blame for watery eyes, clogged and inflamed sinuses, sneezing and breathing issues.
- Inside allergens like cigarette or cigar smoke, pet dander, mold spores and even dust can cause allergic reactions.
- Food allergies often result in tingling in your mouth, and your lips, tongue or throat might swell. Hives are common as well. In severe cases, anaphylaxis results.
- Medication allergies typically manifest themselves as skin inflammation like itchy hives, facial swelling, rashes, wheezing and stomach problems. Some, notably the common blood pressure medication, Lisinopril, result in a constant dry cough. It is important to thoroughly read the list of side effects that your medicines have so you will be ready in the event of an allergic reaction.
- Insect sting allergies result in large swollen areas around the bite, hives or itching, wheezing, a cough or shortness of breath.
Severe allergic reactions lead to anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. The symptoms come on quickly; problems like breathing issues, throat tightness, swelling, hives, nausea, vomiting, fainting or dizziness. Some people also get a rapid pulse or their heart will stop beating.
Luckily, most people who experience allergy problems only have mild to moderate symptoms that are easily managed. However, if you’ve had serious attacks or you are at risk for anaphylaxis, you must keep medication with you to counteract it; medicines like EpiPen, Auvi-Q and Adrenaclick are examples of these.
For those with less severe allergy issues, avoiding your allergens is the best course of action. When you accidentally come into contact with them, antihistamines or decongestants can often help.
If you still have symptoms, or they get worse or persist, stop by your neighborhood Physicians Urgent Care right away. Our physicians are available seven days a week and no appointment is necessary.