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Most Common Allergens

The most common allergens are readily present in our everyday environment and can cause concern for many people who are susceptible to developing a reaction that upsets their immune system. Symptoms ranging from mild skin rashes to instances of fatalities have all been attributed to common allergens, which include: pollens, animal hair, dust mites, food, medicine, mold, perfume, insect bites and cockroaches.

Pollen

Notorious for causing sneezing, running noses, itchy eyes and coughing, pollen is generally considered to be the number one allergen that causes problems for sufferers. Released by trees, flowering plants and grasses throughout the year, pollen allows plants to reproduce and is carried on currents of air to other plants. Many of the microscopic spores do not reach their destination, however, and become potential nasal and throat irritants for sufferers.

Animal hair

A major cause of concern for many pet owners, animal hair can cause rashes, respiratory conditions and irritated eyes in susceptible individuals. An oil that an animal secretes to coat its hair, as well as skin scales, known as dander, are the major culprits that cause allergies to occur. Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, cows, horses and other species often shed hair throughout the year; the major concern for sufferers is from hair that builds up in indoor areas.

Dust mites

This unseen scourge can cause symptoms from itchiness, to runny noses and even bouts of asthma in some. Dust mites consume dead skin cells from humans and pets and tend to proliferate in environments that attract a lot of dust particles; warm, damp conditions inside mattresses and furniture allow them to thrive and breed in large numbers. Some unlucky people develop life-long allergies to dust mites, a problem that often starts in childhood for many.

Food

Breathing trouble, skin rashes and upset stomachs can all point to a food allergy. Nuts, eggs, milk and soy are the main foodstuffs that cause the most trouble for sufferers. Gluten, fish, grains, shellfish and certain fruits and vegetables may also cause allergic reactions in some. In severe cases, especially where nuts are concerned, an anaphylactic shock may be so severe as to cause fatality in a sufferer.

Medicine

Various medications can cause reactions in people and the number of cases is, alarmingly, on the rise. Although most pharmaceutical drugs will produce a list of common side effects, many individuals suffer from a direct allergic condition that can be brought on by a particular drug they have taken. Antibiotics, anesthetics, some diabetic medications, and even aspirin, have all been know to produce allergies. Skin rashes, blistering, kidney and blood problems may result from a direct allergy.

Mold

Often prevalent in indoor environments, especially those that are humid and warm in temperature, mold can cause severe allergies in many people. Coughing, sneezing, skin rashes, headaches and eye trouble are all common symptoms among sufferers of mold allergies. Some types of mold that turn toxic in form can cause more severe issues like vomiting, nausea and even death in some cases. Homes and indoor environments need regular cleaning and maintenance to deter mold from growing.

Perfume

Breathing problems, rashes and even vomiting can be caused from an allergic reaction to some perfumes. Certain chemicals and substances in particular scents may cause a sufferer to experience irritated nasal linings and allergic sensitivity. Many people favour the wearing of a particular perfume and it can be difficult for susceptible individuals to escape the presence of the allergen. Intense asthma attacks are known to occur in some people with perfume allergies.

Insects

Anything from being bitten by mosquitoes, to ant bites, can cause allergic reactions in some people. Skin rashes and itchiness are common symptoms, but more severe complications can arise, especially for those who have a particular sensitivity to certain insect venoms. Some people can actually die from the effects of a bee sting and must carry around life-saving medications to administer in the event of being stung. In the home, Cockroach feces can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Sources cited

Test Country

About.com

Pollen Allergy

Allergyescape.com

Dust Mite

Better Health Channel