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Allergy Symptoms & Causes

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What is an allergy?

 

When our body’s immune mechanisms overreact to exposure, it is called an allergy. For example, when a person without allergies to tree pollen inhales the pollen, there is no response. If an allergic person inhales tree pollen, his or her body will overreact to the pollen and will cause an allergic response, with these symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy nose and runny nose.

The two main types of allergies are outdoor (seasonal allergies) and indoor (year-round allergies).

Outdoor Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are those allergies that change with the seasons due to pollen from plants. These allergies and symptoms come and go with the pollination seasons of certain:

  • Trees

  • Grasses

  • Weeds

  • Ragweed

Pollen levels are unpredictable often due to weather conditions. High pollen levels often affect the severity of symptoms. In some areas, outdoor molds can trigger seasonal symptoms.

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Indoor Year-Round Allergies (Perennial)

Indoor allergies are usually year round and are caused by substances like:

  • Mold spores

  • Dust mites

  • Pet dander

  • Feathers

  • Cockroaches

Pollen levels are unpredictable often due to weather conditions. High pollen levels often affect the severity of symptoms. In some areas, outdoor molds can trigger seasonal symptoms.

These allergens are often harder to control because they exist in our homes year-round. Avoiding them is more difficult than seasonal allergens because we tend to spend more time indoors.

Nasal allergy symptoms can last for months at a time if they’re seasonal allergies and they can even be year-round if the symptoms are caused by indoor allergies.

Typical symptoms are:

  • Runny nose

  • Sneezing

  • Congestion

  • Post nasal drip

  • Snoring

  • Mouth breathing

  • Stuffy nose

 

Knowing what causes allergies can help you cope and possibly avoid them completely.

  • Headaches

  • Tiredness

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Sinus / ear infections

  • Cough

  • Itchy eyes

  • Watery eyes

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