What Type of Allergies Do I Have?
Helpful Ways to Identify and Understand Common Allergy Symptoms
By Bianca Herron
12 min read
Allergies are more than a nuisance. Depending on the type you have — and if you experience them seasonally or regularly — you’re more than familiar with the itchy, watery eyes, congestion, scratchy throat, and sneezing.
While you can’t make your allergies disappear, identifying the type you have and the allergic reactions it can cause can help you better manage your symptoms of allergies. The first step to prevention is ensuring the air quality in your home is clean. An air purifier fits this bill perfectly because it captures and filters up to 99.99 percent of airborne particles, including pollen, dust, mold spores, and pet dander, which are all some of the most common allergies.
Additionally, it’s imperative to protect those who have asthma or other breathing issues because allergies can trigger severe reactions such as asthma attacks, hives, and skin rashes. Now, more than ever, indoor air quality is top of mind for many — especially those who are already dealing with respiratory issues. An air purifier is one of the ways you can ensure you and your loved ones breathe easy in the safest place possible: home.
What Are Allergies and What Causes Them?
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies happen when our immune system views a particular substance as harmful. As a result, an allergic reaction occurs. For some, an allergic reaction may include sneezing, wheezing, congestion, and itchy, watery, or red eyes. For others, the response may be more severe with symptoms including hives, skin rashes, and more.
Common Types of Allergies
Pollen Allergy – This is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. Experts refer to it as seasonal allergic rhinitis. It is commonly known as hay fever by most people. The majority of pollen allergies come from weeds, trees, and grasses, which are the most common causes.
Insect Allergy – Stinging insects (bees, wasps, and fire ants ) and biting insects (mosquitos, bedbugs, and certain flies) can trigger allergic reactions. These may include itching, redness, stinging, minor swelling, and pain around the bitten area. Many people are also allergic to non-stinging and non-biting insects such as dust mites and cockroaches. Both of these pests’ fecal matter and body parts trigger allergic reactions, including asthma attacks.
Mold Allergy – When you have a mold allergy, your immune system will kick into high drive when breathing in mold spores. Symptoms of mold allergies include a runny nose, sore throat, headache, fatigue, coughing, and sneezing. If you have asthma, you can have asthma attacks, and those with weak immune systems may experience a severe infection.
Pet Allergy – Many people are allergic to proteins in animal skin cells, urine, or saliva. This is especially true for cat dander because it floats in the air. You may have a pet allergy if you are experiencing sneezing and a runny nose. You may also experience signs of asthma, including wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Food Allergy – The most common food allergies in the United States are milk, egg, fish, shellfish, peanut, tree nut, soy, and wheat. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, even if you react to a particular food, you may not have an allergy but rather a food intolerance. These include lactose and gluten intolerance, as well as sulfite sensitivity. Symptoms include hives, itching, skin rash, trouble breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The Bottom Line
Although more than 50 million Americans experience allergies each year and have learned to manage them, many people are just learning how to deal with the annoying symptoms they bring. No matter the allergy, no one wants to deal with itchy, watery, or red eyes, sneezing, congestion, or other severe reactions like asthma attacks, hives, and skin rashes. Keep your allergies at bay with the help of an air purifier. These units, especially those with a HEPA filter, capture up to 99 percent of airborne particles, including pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and more.