Common Allergies: Symptoms and Signs
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of common allergies and what triggers them. Visit Piniella Asthma + Allergy Center today. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Coral Gables FL and Palmetto Bay FL.
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Allergies are a common condition; more than 50 million Americans experience allergies every year, including seasonal allergies, food allergies, and insect allergies. While many allergies develop during childhood, they can occur at any stage of life. Some childhood allergies disappear after adulthood. Any type of allergy should be addressed by an allergist, a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of allergies.
There are seven main types of allergies:
• Drug Allergies — Medicines, including both over-the-counter and prescription medications, occurs in only a small number of people. Most drug reactions are not due to allergies, but instead are a side effect of the properties of the medicine that exhibit symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. Although sometimes skin testing is performed, the diagnosis of the drug reaction is typically based upon the patient’s medical history and symptoms.
• Food Allergies — Food-related allergies are often the first thing people think of when talking about allergies. In many schools, peanut butter is prohibited even if only one child has a peanut allergy. However, there are many different food allergies, some very common, including shellfish, dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, and tree nuts, such as walnuts and pecans. In addition to this, there are different types of allergic reactions to foods, including food intolerances, IgE-mediated allergies, and non-IgE-mediated allergies.
• Insect Allergies — Both stinging insects and biting insects can cause an allergic reaction. This is often due to the venom in their saliva or stinger and serves as a self-defense mechanism. The most common stinging insects that can cause an allergic reaction include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. Biting insects, as well as arachnids, can also cause an allergic reaction, including mosquitoes, bedbugs, kissing bugs and fleas, as well as certain flies. Non-stinging and non-biting insects/arachnids can also cause allergic reactions, such as cockroaches and dust mites; these are often caused by their feces.
• Latex Allergies — Natural rubber latex is produced from the rubber tree and can cause an allergic reaction when the skin comes into contact with products made out of latex rubber, including gloves, balloons, and condoms. An allergy to latex can be a serious health risk; people with this type of allergy are typically unaffected by synthetic latex.
• Mold Allergies — Mold and mildew, which are part of the fungi kingdom, often release tiny spores that become airborne; when inhaled, these microscopic particles can cause an allergic reaction affecting the eyes and respiratory system. Allergic reactions can occur year-round due to the diverse growth environments in which fungi can proliferate, both indoors and outdoors.
• Pet Allergies — Pets with fur, especially long coats prone to shedding, are a common cause of allergies. People with this type of allergy typically have a reaction to pet dander, skin flakes in the animal’s fur or hair. While some breeds of dog or cat are more likely to cause an allergic reaction, all breeds can produce allergies.
• Pollen Allergies — Pollen is the main culprit of seasonal allergies; also known as “hay fever” or “seasonal allergic rhinitis,” pollen allergies are most common in the spring and fall when plants release large quantities of pollen for the purposes of fertilization.
The symptoms of allergies may include:
• Itching of the nose, eyes, or mouth
• Runny, stuffy nose
• Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)
• Tingling in the mouth
• Swelling of the lips, tongue, face, throat
• Cough, chest tightness, wheezing, or difficulty breathing
• Flakey or peeling skin
Allergies are typically diagnosed with either a skin test, such as a skin prick test or skin patch test, or a blood test, to evaluate the amount of allergy-causing antibodies present in the blood.
With the right treatment from a qualified allergist, some types of allergies can be cured. This is common with immunotherapy, where the allergic individual is exposed to minute amounts of the allergen in gradually increasing doses to build immunity to the substance. Even in situations where allergies cannot be cured, the right treatment can help patients better manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of allergies, come to Piniella Asthma + Allergy for professional care. Call us today to book an appointment with our allergy treatment specialist, or visit one of our two Florida locations: in Coral Gables, FL, and Palmetto Bay, FL. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Coral Gables FL, Palmetto Bay FL, Westchester FL, Brownsville FL, Kendall FL, Pinecrest FL, Richmond West FL, and Goulds FL.