What seasonal allergies are out now
Allergic reactions generally happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.
They can cause:
- a runny or blocked nose
- a red, itchy rash
- wheezing and coughing
- red, itchy, watery eyes
- worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms
Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can happen.
This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.
So Boiling in Here
Reports of pollen allergies first appeared around the time of the industrial revolution.
Whether that means that these allergies were the product of pollution, new diets, or changes in hygiene isn’t clear.
What is clear, writes Charles W. Schmidt in this month’s issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, is the role of climate change in contemporary pollen allergies.
“When exposed to warmer temperatures and higher levels of CO2, plants grow more vigorously and produce more pollen than they otherwise would,” writes Schmidt.
Warming temperatures in some areas, love the northern United States, extend the periods during which plants release pollen. The combined effect of warming temperatures and more CO2 means that the quantity of pollen in the air has been increasing and will continue to increase as climate change worsens.
(According to a study presented by Bielory, pollen counts could double by )
This is bad news not just for people who own allergies, but also for people who don’t.
“In general, the longer you’re exposed to an allergen, the more likely you are going to be sensitized to that allergen,” Bielory says. People who own pollen allergies may experience intensified symptoms, and people who don’t normally own pollen allergies may start to.
Already, Schmidt writes, there “is evidence suggesting that hay fever prevalence is rising in numerous parts of the world.”
How to manage an allergy
In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.
For example, if you own a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.
There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:
- antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
- lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
- decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
- steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can assist reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction
For some people with extremely severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.
This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.
Does Honey Help?
With the increase in the number of pollen allergy-sufferers, it’s understandable that people own begun to seek natural ways to alleviate their symptoms. Some own even argued that consuming honey will build up your resistance because it contains pollen.
But as Rachel E. Gross points at out Slate, that theory’s just honey bunches of lies; mainly because the pollen that makes you sneeze doesn’t come from flowers.
In the spring, the pollen that gives humans allergies comes from trees.
In the summer, people own allergic reactions to grass pollen; and at the finish finish of summer and beginning of drop, people start to suffer from pollinating weeds—especially ragweed, which has spread from the United States to Europe and the Middle East.
Really, the “natural” ways to deal with pollen allergies are to stay clean, hold your windows closed, and go exterior when pollen counts are lower, such as after it rains. If your symptoms are bad enough, take over-the-counter medication or see an allergist. And if you don’t mind the risk of malnutrition or life-threatening diseases, there’s always hookworms.
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An allergy is a reaction the body has to a specific food or substance.
Allergies are extremely common.
They’re thought to affect more than 1 in 4 people in the UK at some point in their lives.
They’re particularly common in children. Some allergies go away as a kid gets older, although many are lifelong.
Adults can develop allergies to things they were not previously allergic to.
Having an allergy can be a nuisance and affect your everyday activities, but most allergic reactions are mild and can be largely kept under control.
Severe reactions can occasionally happen, but these are uncommon.
Getting assist for allergies
See a GP if you ponder you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.
A GP can assist determine whether it’s likely you own an allergy.
If they ponder you might own a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to assist manage the condition.
If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.
Find out more about allergy testing
Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.
The more common allergens include:
- dust mites
- latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
- mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
- grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
- food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
- insect bites and stings
- animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
- household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes
Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.