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Latex Allergies  return to page one of allergies

Hay fever  

Hay fever, asthma and eczema are all related allergic conditions and the tendency to developthem runs in families. People with hay fever often have a close relative with one or more of these conditions. When someone with hay fever comes into contact with pollen, their body produces increased amounts of immunoglobulin E (IgE), a type of antibody. ThisIgE sticks to certain cells throughout the body, including those of the respiratory (breathing) system, causing them to release the chemical histamine. It is histamine that is responsible for the symptoms of sneezing, stuffy nose and itchy eyes and throat. Most people suffer only a few weeks of mild discomfort, but for an unlucky few, the symptoms can be severe and last for months. Hay fever can make asthma worse, and some people who are not usually asthmatic may become wheezy. Most people with hay fever are allergic to grass and oilseed rape pollens, which appear from April to August each year. People who are sensitive to pollen from hazel, yew, elm and alder may develop symptoms from January to April, and people allergic to nettles and other weeds can be affected from April to mid-September.

Allergic Rhinitis  

If you have symptoms of hay fever but you have them after the hay fever season is over, they are likely to be due to an allergen that is present throughout the year. The predominant symptoms are blocked or runny nose and sneezing, hence the name allergic rhinitis. House-dust mite is a common cause of allergic rhinitis, but there are others, including allergens from animals such as cats, dogs, and horses. Certain foods, drugs and chemicals can also be involved.

Seasonal and Perennial Allergies  

People with seasonal allergies face different challenges depending on the time of year. For many who are allergic to grass or tree pollens, spring can bring sneezing, itching and runny nose and red or teary eyes of allergy symptoms. Summer brings grass pollen and ragweed. By fall, ragweed may still be in the air in some areas, and as the season goes on, autumn leaves fall and produce a terrific crop of molds where they lie on the ground. Neighbors may burn piles of leaves, creating smoke, fumes, and airborne mold spores. In winter, for the families staying cozy inside, allergens such as dust mites and pet dander are indoors with them and cause allergic reactions.

But, very few people with allergies have to contend with every possible allergy trigger throughout the year. The majority of allergy sufferers need to avoid only a limited number of specific allergens for only a few weeks each year. They may be free of allergy symptoms for the rest of the calendar year.

If you have perennial rhinitis you may have a stuffy nose all year round. In general, people with perennial rhinitis are less likely to sneeze and have eye symptoms but are more likely to complain of nasal congestion. Perennial allergic rhinitis is usually associated with exposure to indoor allergens such as dust mites. Some people with allergies have perennial rhinitis as well as seasonal rhinitis, so they experience seasonal symptoms (such as sneezing, watering eyes, itching, and running nose) in addition to the seemingly ever-present congestion.

Exercise-induced food allergy  

Exercise can induce an allergic reaction to food. The usual scenario is that of a person eating a specific food, and then exercising. As he exercises and his body temperature increases, he begins to itch, gets light headed, and soon develops the characteristic allergic reactions of hives, asthma, abdominal symptoms, and even anaphylaxis. The cure, actually a preventive measure, for exercise-induced food allergy is simple-not eating for at least two hours before exercising.

Continue to precautions to avoid allergens