Know Your Allergy Triggers
4. Animal Dander and Cockroaches continued...
It may take two or more years for you to develop an allergy like this. Once you have symptoms, though, they may last until you don’t come into contact with the animal anymore. If you don’t have pets, it might be cockroaches that you’re allergic to.
Symptoms include sneezing, congestion, and itchy and watery eyes.
- Avoid the animals that cause your allergies when possible. If you’re allergic to your pet, ask your doctor if there’s anything you can do that would help, like keeping it off your bed and couches.
- Wash your pet every week.
- You can also take medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids to help. Allergy shots (immunotherapy) might also help.
- If you have cockroach allergies, be sure to keep trash in closed containers and take it out of your home promptly. You may also want to consider getting an exterminator.
5. Insect Sting
Ouch! Something stung you, and now you’re having a bad reaction to it.
Insects that cause allergic reactions include various bees, fire ants, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps.
If you get stung by an insect, you can expect pain, swelling, and redness and heat around the sting site. Those symptoms can last for a few days.
It’s rare, but some people get a dangerous, full-body reaction called anaphylaxis, which needs emergency treatment. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Trouble breathing
- Becoming hoarse
- Wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
- Swelling, especially around the face, eyelids, ears, mouth, hands, or feet
- Belly cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Feeling dizzy or passing out
- Make yourself unattractive to insects. Don’t wear brightly colored clothes and avoid scented lotions or cosmetics.
- Keep insecticide handy, wear shoes outdoors, and stay away from outdoor garbage.
- Talk to your doctor about allergy shots. They can help prevent anaphylaxis.
If you get stung:
- Try to remove the stinger safely. You can take an antihistamine by mouth to reduce itching, swelling, and hives.
- Try a pain reliever and use an ice pack to dull pain caused by the sting. In some cases, people get corticosteroids to curb swelling and inflammation.
If you have symptoms of anaphylaxis, you need to use an epinephrine auto injector (Auvi-Q or EpiPen) and call 911.