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Allergies Health Center

Allergy Types

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Learn the types of allergies including food allergies, seasonal allergies, pet allergies, and many more.

Food Allergies

Food allergies or food intolerances affect nearly everyone at some point. People often have an unpleasant reaction to something they ate and wonder if they have a food allergy.

If you suffer from a milk allergy, strictly avoiding milk and food containing milk and milk products is the only way to prevent a reaction, which can include immediate wheezing, vomiting, and hives.

Egg allergies -- especially to egg whites -- are more common in children than in adults and reactions range from mild to severe.

If you are allergic to any wheat protein strictly avoiding wheat and wheat products is the only way to prevent a reaction, which can include stomach upset, eczema, allergic rhinitis, bronchospasm (asthma-like symptoms) and even anaphylaxis.

If you suffer from a nut allergy, strictly avoiding nuts, including peanuts and tree nuts like cashews and walnuts, and food containing nuts is the only way to prevent a reaction.

If your doctor is able to identify exactly which type of fish causes your allergies, than you only need to eliminate that species of fish from your diet. For the majority of fish allergy sufferers, this is not an option and all fish must be avoided.

Learn about shellfish allergies and which foods to avoid.

Sulfites are a group of sulfur-based compounds that may occur naturally or may be added to food as an enhancer and preservative. The FDA estimates that one out of 100 people is sensitive to the compounds.

Soy allergies start with soybeans. Soybeans are legumes. Other foods in the legume family include navy beans, kidney beans, string beans, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo or chichi beans), lentils, carob, licorice, and peanuts.

If a glass of milk or a slice of pizza causes swollen lips, hives, or other significant symptoms, you may have an allergy to casein, a protein in milk.

Seasonal Allergies

Spring is the time of year that we normally think of when it comes to seasonal allergies. As the trees start to bloom and the pollen gets airborne, allergy sufferers begin their annual ritual of sniffling and sneezing.

Although spring most readily comes to mind when we think of allergies, many of the same allergic triggers that can make us miserable in the spring persist into summer.

The allergy triggers might be slightly different, but they can be just as misery-inducing as the flower pollen that fills the air in the spring and summer.

Here are some common causes of winter allergies, and a few tips for managing your symptoms.

Pet Allergies

For a person with dog allergies, life in a dog-loving country isn't easy. Nearly 40% of U.S. households have a dog. Dog dander gets everywhere, including places where dogs have never set a paw.

Here are some answers -- what you need to know about cat allergies, from causes to treatments.

Other Allergies

Hay fever is an immune disorder characterized by an allergic response to pollen grains and other substances. Also known as allergic rhinitis, there are two types: seasonal, which occurs only during the time of year in which certain plants pollinate, and perennial, which occurs all year round.

Pink eye caused by bacteria, viruses, or STDs can spread easily from person to person but is not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly; allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.

Hives, also known as urticaria, are an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps, patches, or welts on the skin that appear suddenly -- either as a result of allergies, or for other reasons.

Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are plants that contain an irritating, oily sap called urushiol. Urushiol triggers an allergic reaction when it comes into contact with skin, resulting in an itchy rash, which can appear within hours of exposure or up to several days later.

Bee, wasp, yellow jacket, hornet, or fire ant stings are the insect stings that most often trigger allergies. However, most people are not allergic to insect stings and may mistake a normal sting reaction for an allergic reaction.

People with mold allergies, however, may have a reaction if exposed to too much of the fungus.

For most people, a change of seasons signals the beginning of long, lazy days or cool, crisp evenings. But for the one in 10 Americans who suffers from pollen allergies, changing seasons can mean misery.

Most people's skin will burn if there is enough exposure to ultraviolet radiation. However, some people burn particularly easily or develop exaggerated skin reactions to sunlight.

Salicylates are chemicals found naturally in plants and are a major ingredient of aspirin and other pain-relieving medications. They are also found in many fruits and vegetables as well as in many common health and beauty products.

Although cosmetics can help us feel more beautiful, they can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Certain ingredients used in cosmetics, such as fragrances and preservatives, can act as allergens, substances that trigger an allergic reaction.

A nickel allergy is a skin reaction that develops after exposure to nickel or items containing the metal.

Many drugs can cause adverse side effects, and certain medicines can trigger allergic reactions. In an allergic reaction, the immune system mistakenly responds to a drug by creating an immune response against it.

Life with dust allergies -- whether they're yours or a family member's -- comes with a load of questions. For instance, might a dust allergy explain your child's never-ending cold symptoms?

They promise to make your skin soft, your hair shiny, and your laundry springtime fresh, but for some people the chemicals in shampoos, cosmetics, and detergents trigger allergic skin reactions.

A penicillin allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs when your body's immune system overreacts to penicillin antibiotics.A penicillin allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs when your body's immune system overreacts to penicillin antibiotics.

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