Allergies

What Are the Different Types of Allergies

Millions of people suffer from a variety of allergy symptoms each year. Schools, offices, and homes are filled with the sounds of coughing and sniffling as people wander around with red, itchy, and watery eyes. With many different types of allergy remedies available, it can be quite difficult to determine which course of action is right for you. Finding relief for your allergy symptoms begins with answering the question, “what are the different types of allergies?” An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system misidentifies a typically harmless substance and overreacts in its defense. On a basic level, the different types of allergies include those that are inhaled through the nose and lungs, those that are ingested by mouth, and those that are caused by contact with skin.

Inhaled allergies are often seasonal and their occurrence rates rise and fall with the pollen count. Each spring and fall, tiny flowers produce millions of particles of pollen which are spread through the wind and breathed in by people. These allergens are then attacked by the body’s immune system resulting in sneezing, coughing, and eye irritation. This allergy is commonly known as hay fever. Other inhaled allergies include those to dust mites and mold spores which can be found inside the home. Pet allergies are also inhaled when the dander from animal fur is released into the air.

Another type of allergy is one that is ingested by people directly. This generally refers to food allergies and includes a wide variety of foods. A food allergy occurs when the immune system provides an abnormal response triggered by the ingestion of a certain food. One of the most common food allergies is the peanut. Food allergies are not limited to nuts, however, and can include fruits such as strawberries, as well as seafood such as shrimp. An allergic reaction to food can result in swelling, hives, and even shortness of breath. Ingested allergies also include those to medications. Such reactions are usually immediate and often require medical attention as some severe reactions can be fatal.

A third type of allergy occurs when an allergen comes into contact with a person’s skin. These allergies usually result in a rash or hives. Poison ivy is a common offender as are bee stings and other insect bites. Skin allergies can also be caused by cosmetics, and individuals with sensitive skin should take care when selecting a cosmetics brand. It is a good idea to test a small spot on your skin for an allergic reaction prior to covering a larger area.

Allergies Allergies