From a sudden sneeze and consecutive coughs that feel like the usual allergies to chilling fevers and severe body pains that strike every cell in your body, the overlapping symptoms between allergic rhinitis and coronavirus seem to cause unnecessary fear among people nowadays.
Travelling is an integral part of our lives and every person should experience packing his/her bag and fly off to somewhere distant even if it’s just one time. But not all people are capable of travelling to far distant places all because their allergies make it extremely difficult to get out of the house and onto a plane. Fortunately there are several ways for these people to keep their allergies in check long enough for them to get to their preferred destination.
The first important step in battling allergies is finding out what you’re allergic to. Upon the onset of allergy symptoms, head your way to a physician or allergist to identify what triggered the reaction. Allergy Skin Testing is a safe and easy way for them to find out and confirm the allergens that caused the allergic reaction, and it can be performed on both children and adults.
Common allergy symptoms that may need you to get an allergy skin testing include: Itchiness in the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, runny nose, watery eyes, blocked sinuses, coughing, sneezing, hives, eczema, nasal congestion, and anaphylaxis in severe cases.
Through allergy testing, you will be able to find out what particular substances you may be allergic to. Allergens that are used in allergy skin tests include dust mites, pollen, pet dander and hair, insect venom, natural rubber latex, food components, and medications.
There are three kinds of allergy testing performed:
Scratch Test or also known as a prick or puncture test, wherein your doctor will place a drop of various allergens, usually on the forearm or back. A sterile needle is used to prick the skin to introduce the allergen. A reaction or lack thereof will determine if you’re allergic to the substance.
Intradermal Skin Test is similar to the scratch test but instead of pricking the skin, the allergen is injected under the skin using a syringe. Your skin’s reaction to it will determine if you’re allergic to it or not. This method is usually used to test insect venom and medication allergies.
Skin testing results are immediately evaluated as the reactions usually appear within minutes after the test is administered. It is also important to not take any medication before the test as it may interfere with the results.
Is skin testing safe? There may be a mild irritation caused by a positive allergic reaction but it fully safe when done correctly.
When identification of allergens via skin testing is not possible due to several reasons like the patient is suffering a severe skin condition or the patient is under medication -- an Allergy Blood Test can be used instead.
A blood sample is taken and sent to the lab for testing with various allergens. Blood tests may take a few days before results can be derived and it also costs more than skin tests.
A known allergy blood test is the allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system is subjected to allergens and overreacts to it. The body perceives allergens as a threat and signals the need for protection to our immune system, therefore producing antibodies called immunoglobulin E.
Your test results will identify your allergens so you will know what to avoid in the future. These tests are important for easy allergy management when you are exposed to allergens.
Allergies can be distracting and annoying, especially when they get triggered while you’re at work which makes it hard to thread through your workload. Itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and headaches due to nasal congestion can make you lose your focus and your medication can cause you to doze off while on duty.
The first step is to identify the source of your allergy. Be aware of your allergic reactions and identify the allergens present at your workplace that can trigger these symptoms. Dust and mold are the most common workplace allergens.
Limit not eliminate – Elimination of allergens is not always possible, so try your best to limit your exposure to it to avoid symptoms to be triggered. Cut the number of allergens at your workplace by keeping your desk dust-free, consider using a HEPA filter, and clean/replace carpets that are dusty or moldy.
When it comes to allergy medication, nasal sprays, eye drops, and oral antihistamines are common staples. Ask your physician to prescribe you a non-drowsy option if available. Second-generation antihistamines are low- to non-sedating, examples are loratadine, desloratadine, and fexofenadine.
Immunotherapy may also be an option in managing your allergies, especially for those with moderate to severe allergies. These allergy shots are proven to lessen one’s sensitivities to allergens, and thus lessening as well the need for medications. However, the process of immunotherapy takes time as it requires a sequence of shots and takes a few months to a year to make an improvement.
Always visit your allergist if there’s an onset of new symptoms and/or if there’s a change needed in your medication.
It’s the season to be jolly and celebrate! The holidays are filled with parties and gatherings and it won’t be the most wonderful time of the year if food allergies are suddenly triggered.
An important step in handling food allergies during the holidays is to be informed. Know what certain foods can trigger your allergy symptoms and next is to make sure to communicate it well to others (especially your host). There are eight common food allergens as identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and these are wheat, shellfish, peanuts, soybeans, eggs, milk, fish, and tree nuts.
Thoughtful planning and preparation are the keys into making each get together enjoyable without any allergies getting in the way.
Here are some tips on handling food allergies during the holidays:
- Make sure to ask about the ingredients of each dish. For the host, it would be best to write an ingredient card for each dish. This way, guests can easily identify which food they should avoid.
- Avoid serving common food allergens. An example would be a bowl of mix nuts for appetizers, serve something different instead.
- Be careful of cross-contamination when preparing and serving food. Decrease the likelihood of it but serving those with allergies first, or provide separate serving utensils.
- Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly when handling different ingredients, as well as before and after eating.
- For allergy sufferers, inform the host of any allergies you have. You can also bring your own allergen-free snacks or eat before arriving at the party. You may also offer to bring a potluck dish that you and others can enjoy.
- Have your medication ready-at-hand just in case of an accidental allergy attack.
Holiday gatherings need not be a worrisome event for you and your guests as long as you've employed careful planning and preparation, and communicated well enough to make sure your allergy concerns are addressed. May you guys have a festive holiday season!
Exercising outdoor during the cold season might trigger various allergies due to the weather and prevalent allergens in the air, but this should not stop you from working out and keeping fit.
Here are some tips to help you plan and strategize your workout so you don't have to be stuck working out indoors:
- Know your allergens. Are you allergic to pollen, molds, or spores? Identify what triggers your allergy and take note of your symptoms for better management.
- Check the pollen count. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology has a pollen count tracker for trees, mold, weeds, and grass across the U.S. Also check your local weather forecast and avoid exercising outdoors on dry, warm, and windy days which bring the highest pollen levels.
- Time your exercise. Pollen count is highest between 5:00AM and 10:00am, and at dusk, so best to plan your workout outside these hours. If unavoidable, wear a face mask to prevent inhalation of pollen. Wearing sunglasses can also help if your eyes are sensitive to pollen.
- Plan your workout accordingly. Pick a workout that is less prone to trigger an allergic symptom, and pick an area with less concentrations of allergens and irritants. You can also opt for a sheltered area outdoors for better protection from allergens.
- Take your meds before heading out. If you have a prescription, don’t forget to take it before heading out to lessen the chances of an allergy attack. Also have one ready on-hand in case needed.
For extra measure, Cottonique offers an active lifestyle clothing line so that you won’t need to worry about itching through your exercise routine.
Seasonal allergies need not be a hindrance to your active lifestyle. Just follow these tips and you’ll be breezing through the outdoors in comfort and allergy-free.
October 4 to 10 is Latex Allergy Awareness Week as announced by The American Latex Allergy Association and revolves on the theme “Latex Can Be Everywhere.” Avoidance, Prevention, Awareness, Education, and Vigilance are given focused as these are the keys to living with latex allergy.
We at Cottonique supports this advocacy as we are forerunners when it comes to an allergy-free lifestyle. We provide products that are made from natural and chemical-free 100% combed cotton material that is dedicated to serving health and environmentally-conscious consumers.
Our research and development team is focused on combining natural material with innovative technology to develop allergy-free products with unique design concepts. Our elasticized products are fully latex-free and spandex-free, perfect for our consumers who are sensitive to latex.
We also support allergy prevention, awareness, and education hence we provide useful information via our blog to spread further understanding the nature of allergies and how to begin an “allergy-free” living.
Here are some useful articles that you can check out for your “allergy-free” journey:
- Most Common Type of Allergies Part 1 and Part 2
- Why Wear Organic?
- Three Common Clothing Chemicals You should Avoid (If You’re Allergic!)
- How Do I Know if I’m Allergic to Latex?
Whatever the season may be, allergies are just around the corner. And with the cold season beginning to set-in, everyone will be spending more time indoors, “winter allergies” will start to break out due to indoor allergens. Allergen-sensitive individuals will be more exposed to indoor allergens such as dust mites, pets, and mold.
Dust is found all homes and is a breeding ground for dust mites. Dust Mites are common triggers for indoor allergies, and even though they are prevalent almost anywhere, they are mostly common in humid areas of the household and where human dander collects. Same goes for molds as they thrive in humid areas like basements and bathrooms. Spores from molds can trigger allergies on some people too. Pets can shed dander and hair that can cause allergies to some individuals too.
Here are some tips that you can employ to reduce indoor allergens:
- Keep your Rugs and Carpets Clean. Regularly have them cleaned to reduce deposited allergens on them. Replace rugs often and keep them dry to prevent growth of mites and molds.
- Use a Dehumidifier. Lower the amount of humidity in your homes but using a dehumidifier in damp areas.
- Keep your Beddings Clean. Wash bedding regularly to prevent dust mite deposits. You can aerate it to keep it fresh and dry. There are also allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers that you can use to prevent allergens from your bed.
- Consider an Air Cleaner. Air Purifiers are useful in keeping pet danders at bay and it also help control other indoor allergens especially during winter months.
- Keep your House Clean from Molds. Use home cleaners and diluted bleach solutions to keep areas clean from molds especially countertops and humid areas.
As fall season rolls in, it can also mean new allergy triggers are at bay. Amidst the reds, yellows, and oranges that dominates the Autumn months, Ragweed allergies are at its peak as it is the biggest allergy trigger during fall season.
Ragweed usually produces pollen during August to October and dispersed in the wind, causing allergic reactions. Most people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed, and foods like bananas, melon, and zucchini can also cause allergic symptoms to ragweed-sensitive individuals. Mold is another suspect to fall allergies as humidity increases.
What are the common symptoms of fall allergies?
- Runny Nose
- Watery Eyes
- Itchiness around the eyes and nose
How can I prevent it?
- Carry a face mask around. It will be highly useful on windy days as well as when raking leaves outside.
- Keep your windows closed at home and use a dehumidifier.
- Try drying your clothes with a dryer instead of airing them outside as it can gather pollens this way.
- Brush off pollen from your body by taking a shower frequently.
- Remove decaying and deposited leaves on your yard and gutters as they can be home to molds and pollen.
- Clean your heating vents and filters before turning them on.
- Stay indoors when pollen is at peak, which is usually during late morning or midday. Check pollen counts in your area to be guided.
If you are not sure if you allergic to these common fall triggers, it is best to visit your doctor or allergist for a skin test to identify which allergens trigger your symptoms.
Here is the continuation of our list for the "Most Common Types of Allergies":
Eye allergies develop when an allergen makes contact with antibodies in the eyes and causes common allergic symptoms such as itchiness, red and watery eyes, and inflammation and can impair vision in serious cases.
Some drugs can also trigger allergic reactions regardless of its form. Penicillin is the cause of most allergic drug symptoms. However, drug-induced allergic reactions may be a one-time allergic reaction only. It is always best to consult your doctor when taking drugs and to make sure that it does not have any adverse reactions when taken with other drugs.
Allergic Rhinitis is commonly known as hay fever and is caused by allergic sensitivities to mostly air-borne allergens. It can be a) Seasonal AR, wherein it occurs during spring, summer and early fall (which are pollen seasons) and is caused by airborne mold spores or pollens dispersed from grass, trees and weeds; b) Perennial AR, wherein allergic rhinitis symptoms are experienced year-round, and is generally caused by molds, dust mites, pet hair or dander, or insects.
Symptoms of Allergic rhinitis include: runny nose, itchy eyes, mouth or skin, constant sneezing, stuffy nose, and fatigue.
Latex allergy symptoms usually develops from many previous exposure to latex products including medical gloves, balloons, and other dental supplies. Latex can also be found in clothing, especially in underwear as elastics.
Common symptoms of latex allergy includes hives and itchiness as it comes in direct contact with skin. Other symptoms are stuffy or runny nose, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty in breathing. These symptoms can occur immediate to exposure, however, direct contact is not necessarily needed to trigger a reaction as anaphylaxis and asthmatic reactions can be caused by exposure to airborne particles of latex gloves powder.
Allergies are overreactions of the human immune system in certain individuals to generally harmless substances in the environment. Allergic reactions varies in severity -- from immediate reactions which are mostly manageable and can be prevented to anaphylactic shocks which is life threatening. Organs that are most frequently affected by allergic reactions are the skin and mucous membrane.
Here are the most common types of allergies:
Food allergies occur when the body has adverse reactions to certain foods. It can develop as early in the childhood years but can also appear at any age. Some even develop an allergy to foods that they have eaten for years with no problems and suddenly there’s an adverse reaction to it.
Some food can cause anaphylaxis to some individuals which is life-threatening. Hence it is best to immediately consult a physician once you develop an unusual reaction to some food.
There are eight types of food that accounts for about 90 percent of allergic reactions. These includes: Eggs, Milk, Peanuts, Nuts/Grains, Fish, Shellfish, Wheat, and Soy.
Skin allergies are commonly manifested by rashes, bumps, itching, redness and other skin conditions. Their causes may not be easily detectable as they can be related to various allergens, but the symptoms are mostly easily manageable.
Two of the most common skin rashes are eczema and hives, both of which are associated to allergies. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, and is very common in children.
Contact dermatitis is the reaction when the skin comes in contact with an irritant or an allergen, it is manifested by rashes, blisters, itchiness and burning sensation.
Pets are very common in the households, with cats and dogs as the two most common pets. However, our pets shed off material that can trigger allergic reactions. Common allergens shed by pets in the house include saliva, fur, dead skin, urine and sebum.
Insect Sting Allergy
Insect stings are immediately associated with a painful, swelling and redness bump caused by the sting. However, allergic reactions are pretty common too. It has been estimated that potentially life-threatening allergic reactions to insect venom occur in 0.4 percent to 0.8 percent of children and 3 percent of adults.
Most common insect stings that can cause allergic reactions: Honeybees, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, and fire ants.
Insect sting allergy symptoms can range from local sting site reactions to severe anaphylaxis.
Dust allergies are commonly experienced at home, especially when cleaning as dust particles are stirred and easily inhaled. Dust allergy symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. It may also trigger symptoms of asthma.
Check out the rest of the list here: Most Common Types of Allergies Part 2