Living With Allergies

The spectrum of allergic disorders include allergic rhinitis (Hay fever), Asthma, Food Allergies, Contact Dermatitis (Eczema), Animal Allergies (Dogs and Cats) and Insect Allergy. 
About six million Americans suffer with allergic disorders with considerable suffering and  loss of productivity. About 7.8% of people 18 years and over in the U.S. have hay fever. About 8% of children have food allergies. The commonest foods are peanut, milk and shellfish.

There are two types of Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever). There is one that is present all year round Perennial Allergic Rhinitis-PAR and Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis-SAR. PAR is mostly due to allergens that occur all year round. These include Dust Mites, Pet dander, Cockroaches and Molds. Causes of SAR are allergens that occur in certain times of the year like, tree pollen, grass pollen, weed pollen and grass pollen. Sometimes PAR may co-exist with SAR in which case, the symptoms get worse at certain times of the year.

Winter/Spring: Tree pollen.
Spring: Tree and grass pollen.
Spring/Summer: Grass pollen.
Summer/Fall: Weed and Grass pollen.

The Physician makes a diagnosis of the specific allergies by taking a good allergy history and by performing  skin testing (scratch test) or blood test. Treatments such as medications, injections and avoidance strategies are based on this. 

Avoidance Therapy is an important part of treatment for allergies. You have to make changes in your environment (home or work), lifestyles to reduce or eliminate your identified allergies.
For tree, grass and weed pollen allergy:

Dust Mite avoidance techniques include:

Cat and Dog Allergy avoidance techniques include:

For Mold Allergies:

Author
Chimezie C. Amanambu, M.D.

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