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Airborne Allergens1,910 Views
What is an Allergy? will start in
What is an allergy? Allergies are your immune system's response to a normally harmless substance. Most common allergies include pollen, pets, and food. Learn more about how to spot an allergy.
Description: Airborne allergens like dust mites and pollen affect more than 35 million people throughout the US. Some symptoms include sneezing, coughing and postnasal drip. Find out more about airborne allergens in this video.
pollen, dust mites, dust, pet dander, dog saliva, pet urine, piss, dust mite, mold allergens, mold spores
hives, itchy eyes, congestion, throat swelling, mouth swelling, anaphylaxis, stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy throat, skin scratch tests, antihistamines
histamines, allergies, allergens, immune system, immune response, antibodies
allegra, claritin, benadryl
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From pollen to diesel fumes, the air we breathe is filled with potential allergy triggers that can irritate the nose, throat, eyes and skin. POLLEN, the most common airborne allergen, is a fine, coarse powder responsible for plant reproduction. It is likely to set off allergy attacks from early spring through late fall. Symptoms include sneezing, itching, congestion and post-nasal drip. MOLD is another airborne allergen that causes many people a lot of discomfort. About 20 percent of people who suffer from airborne allergies are also affected by mold. Mold can grow in any damp environment, from a bathroom or basement or around a garden. Symptoms include itchy eyes and trouble breathing. DUST MITE droppings are a common airborne allergen found floating around your home. They are often a problem in pillows and bedding--anywhere that we shed skin cells. PETS also are a significant source of airborne allergens. Their irritating dander is mixture of small particles of fur and dandruff-like skin scales. Cat allergies, however, are caused by a protein in their saliva. Because cats are constantly licking themselves, saliva latches to their fur, which floats into the air and toward your nose and throat. Before you know it, your nose is runny and stuffy at the same time, while your throat and eyes become itchy. In addition to these “natural” allergens, many chemicals can cause allergies.Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide found in smog and cigarette smoke, can cause nasal hyper-responsiveness resulting in extreme sensitivity. Diesel fumes can weaken the delicate nasal lining, allowing irritants to more easily trigger an attack. Even air conditioning, which is supposed to help clear the air, can produce allergy-laden residue that contains pollen along with a number of other allergens. To avoid airborne allergens as much as possible, keep pets out of the bedroom, get dust-mite protective mattress and pillow covers, wash your hair before going to bed to remove pollen that’s accumulated during the day, and stay in filtered air indoors during high-pollen days. For more information on managing your allergies, watch the other videos in this series.
What are Airborne Allergens?
Airborne allergens are substances in the air that may trigger allergic reactions. An allergic reaction may cause symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, etc.
Common Airborne Allergens
- Dust mites Dust mites are considered one of the most common airborne allergens. They are microscopic organisms that are all around you, mainly residing in your bed, but also can be found in pillows, carpets, and rugs. Dust mites feed on the dead skin cells that fall off from your body. They are the primary allergic constituent of house dust.
- Pollen Pollen is another airborne allergen. Pollen allergy is also commonly known as hay fever. This type of allergy is seasonal, and the symptoms that you may experience depend on the kind of pollen allergy you have. It occurs when trees and grasses release these small particles into the air. The chances of experiencing symptoms from this allergy are higher in the morning and on warm, breezy days.
- Molds Molds are airborne allergens as well. They are fungi that live indoors as well as outdoor. They may be found in compost piles or rotting leaves outside, and inside they may be found in bathrooms, under kitchen sinks, and damp basements.
- Pet Allergens Pet allergens are also airborne. When your pet licks itself, the saliva gets on its fur and when it dries, protein particles can become airborne. These airborne allergens are also present in hair, urine and dander.
- Symptoms The symptoms of airborne allergens are similar to what you may experience from other allergies: sneezing, coughing, itching eyes/nose, dark circles under the eyes, and watering eyes.
- Treating Airborne Allergens Your doctor can suggest medications – both over the counter and prescription -- to treat the symptoms of airborne allergies. Allergy shots, depending on the severity of your allergy, can also be effective.