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    Know Your Allergy Triggers

    3. Mold continued...

    The symptoms are similar to those of pollen and dust mite allergies and include sneezing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, and coughing.

    Treatment is similar to that for dust mite and pollen allergies.

    Do this:

    • Avoid mold and get rid of things that encourage its growth.
    • Repair any water damage or leaks in your home.
    • You may not want to keep plants inside because their soil can hold mold.
    • If you rake leaves in the fall, wear a mask.

     

    4. Animal Dander and Cockroaches

    You might react to the proteins from oil glands in an animal's skin or proteins from an animal's saliva.

    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.

    Do this:

    • 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.

     

    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

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    It's nothing to sneeze at.

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