2015-10-11 / Health

Seasonal allergy triggers

Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system attacks an often harmless substance like animal dander, food or pollen. Medication can help reduce the severity of such reactions, but some allergy sufferers find allergic reactions inconvenient nuisances even with medication.

Understanding what triggers allergic reactions may help some people avoid them or make them easier to handle. The following are some of the more common allergy triggers and how men and women suffering from allergies can avoid them.

Pollen is perhaps the best-known allergy trigger. A fine, often yellow substance that’s essential to the fertilization of flowers, pollen can be spread by wind, insects or other animals. Hay fever sufferers may sneeze or experience a runny nose and itchy eyes when pollen spreads. Overthe counter medications, such as Claritin, can be especially effective at relieving symptoms of seasonal allergies. But allergy sufferers also can combat high pollen counts by staying indoors on windy days and closing their windows and running their air conditioners.

Pet dander

Dander are flakes of skin in an animal’s fur or hair. Because of their microscopic size, these flakes of skin can easily attach and remain attached to bedding, fabrics and furniture. Many people keep their pets even if they develop allergies to dander. Should such a situation arise, do not allow your pet into your bedroom, bathe the animal regularly and remove carpeting in favor of bare floors or washable rugs.

Mold

Mold is a furry growth of minute fungal hyphae that is often found in damp parts of a home, such as basements and bathrooms. Mold also can be found in grass and mulch, triggering allergic reactions when men and women spend time in their yards. To avoid an allergic reaction triggered by mold, make sure moist areas of your home get fresh air regularly and routinely clean ceilings or other areas where mold may grow.

Dust mites

Tiny bugs that live in bedding, carpets, curtains, upholstery, and mattresses, dust mites feed on dead skin cells from people and pets. Dust mites also may feed on bacteria, fungi and pollen. Dust mites thrive in humid conditions, but these pests can be combatted with hypoallergenic pillows and mattress covers. Removing materials that collect dust, such as carpet, also can reduce the number of dust mites.

Seasonal allergies affect millions of people. But such sufferers can combat their seasonal allergies by taking several proactive approaches to eliminate allergens before reactions occur.

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