Leading a perfectly healthy life is a difficult feat to achieve. Some people manage to lead a life free of ailments, whereas there are others who try to coexist with chronic illnesses. However, one doesn’t have to belong to either of these extreme poles; some suffer from chronic conditions that aren’t very grave. One such condition that causes discomfort while it lasts, but isn’t fatal are allergies. Almost every person on the face of the earth is allergic to something or the other which forces the person to avoid the allergens at all costs.
People can be allergic to different elements in the environment, but the most common allergies are pollen allergy, food allergy, and allergy triggered by changes in the weather. Though these allergies are seemingly harmless, they do cause a lot of distress when triggered by allergens. When an individual is allergic to something, it indicates that the body considers it detrimental to its well-being and acts out, thus, triggering an allergy.
Allergies don’t strike you out of the blue; there are certain causes that can trigger an allergy. Knowing these causes and triggers of such allergies would help you avoid such situations.
Cause of allergies
Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system. The immune system is designed to protect the body from harmful elements in the environment which invade the body and trigger different diseases. An allergy is triggered when the immune system mistakes a harmless element for a potentially harmful substance and starts attacking it. In such situations, the immune system produces antibodies which are designed to combat the element if the immune system comes in contact with it ever again. When the allergen enters the body, these antibodies release a number of immune system chemicals like histamine, and these trigger the different allergy symptoms like sneezing, cold, cough, itching, etc.
These antibodies remain dormant until they come in contact with the allergens. These allergens, also known as triggers, are responsible for activating the dormant antibodies, which, in turn, trigger an allergy.
There are plenty of allergy triggers present in the environment; the most common allergy triggers are as follows:
- Pollen – Pollen allergy is perhaps the most common allergy to affect a majority of the population. Pollens are substances emitted by plants to fertilize other plants. Contrary to what people believe, pollen is quite harmless. When an individual comes in contact with pollen, the immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking it, which, in turn, results in inflammation and triggers symptoms of allergy. The seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as pollen allergy, is triggered by pollen.
- Dust mites – Dust mites are tiny creatures that cannot be seen without a microscope. These creatures can easily invade your home with your knowledge, but make themselves known when they bite you. Their bites are known to trigger allergies similar to that of pollen allergy. These dust mites are present wherever there is dust, in your living room, bedroom, in the curtains, or even in your carpet.
- Pet dander – This might put pet owners in a dilemma since pet dander is known to be one of the most common causes of allergies. The pet dander consists of skin flakes and fur from your pet and when you come in contact with this, it might trigger an allergic reaction. Also, your body can react to the proteins present in the animal’s saliva or the oil glands present on the animal’s body.
- Mold – Mold is one of the common triggers of allergy. Mold is tiny fungi filled with spores that float like pollen. Mold grows in damp places such as basements or the damp, dark corners in the bathroom. Whenever the individual comes into contact with the mold, an allergic reaction is triggered since the immune system reacts unfavorably to it.
- Food – Most allergies in the world stem from food. You might not react favorably to a certain food, but this doesn’t imply that you are allergic to it. Food allergies are instantaneous; they surface within minutes of consuming that particular food item. These allergies can range from mild to severe and can result in life-threatening scenarios at times. Milk, nuts, soybean, fish, shellfish, gluten, etc. are the most common triggers of such allergies.
- Latex – Latex gloves are quite useful in protecting us from bacteria especially if we venture into unclean or risky situations. However, what most people aren’t aware of is that latex can trigger allergic reactions as well. Some people experience itching on the skin or witness rashes surfacing when they come in contact with latex.
- Insect sting – In addition to causing excruciating pain, insect stings also trigger severe allergic reactions. Bees are notoriously famous for triggering an allergic reaction when they sting someone. Other insects to be wary of are fire ants, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets.
Since you are now aware of the various triggers of an allergic reaction, it is imperative that you identify your triggers and avoid it to keep unpleasant experiences at bay.