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Three Seasonal Allergies: their Triggers, Symptoms and Solutions

Have you ever been in such dreadful scenarios when you feel like going to a certain place or eating some things you crave but when you do, the adverse reaction is so bad that you end up rushing to the pharmacy for medication or to the E.R? It might be an allergy! Allergies are the most common chronic conditions suffered by people worldwide and listed below are three seasonal allergies which might be affecting you and their solutions.


1. Dust allergy


Sometimes dust accumulates in hidden places; the cupboard corners, in boxes, below the carpet and furniture. It might also be lodged in your favourite pet’s fur. Whilst cockroaches and dust mites simply leave a trail of it when they die, flower pollen and moulds accumulating in dead leaves or wood barks in our backyards cannot be disassociated from dust. It’s therefore very difficult to avoid dust in the home, school or workplace.



Its adverse effects include breathing difficulties, a runny nose and sneezing, red eyes, wheezing, or coughing amongst other symptoms. Individuals with dust allergies usually battle during the cleaning and post cleaning period as vacuuming, sweeping and dusting usually stir up particles causing unease during inhalation.



The solution to this type of allergy is to make significant household changes. If you have a fitted carpet, it’s high time you got rid of it. You might want to replace it with ceramic tiles, they reduce the occurrence of dust particle accumulation, provided you sweep and mop them out with water frequently. Pets: keep them outside at all times! You won’t have to worry about the furs. If you choose to keep them indoors, please make sure you clean, dust or hoover your home constantly. As for the cockroaches, just attack them with pesticides, leave the rooms for a few hours then air and clean the rooms properly. Alternatively, you can visit the pharmacy or an allergist for suitable medications.


2. Food allergy


Eating certain foods while you have an allergy might be satisfactory but it comes with a cost. Foods which usually cause allergies include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat, soy and shellfish. Seeds like sesame and mustard also contain common food allergens which trigger adverse reactions. Reactions vary from individual to individual so it’s advisable to note which foods upset your immune system.



Reactions to food usually include vomiting, stomach cramps, shortness of breath, wheezing, a repetitive cough, shock or circulatory collapse, a tight and hoarse throat, trouble swallowing, swelling of the tongue, a weak pulse, pale skin, dizziness or feeling faint, impaired breathing or a rash. Some of these reactions might be life-threatening, so it’s advisable to rush to the clinic if they occur.



Some foods might contain allergic substances so it’s better to cook at home rather than eating out. If you do go out, make it a policy to ask the cook if the food contains ingredients you might be allergic to. When buying, checking for precautionary statements such as “may contain,” “made on shared equipment,” “made in a shared facility” or some other indicators of potential allergen contamination is a healthier alternate than discovering after an adverse reaction. For babies, it’s recommended to introduce foods like eggs or peanut butter at three years to reduce food allergies. Yes, food tastes good when consumed but if it affects you, it’s better to go for alternatives.


3. Pollen allergy


Spring time is usually the time when flowers, grass and trees are blooming. This period is characterised by pollen grains sprouting everywhere and being released into the air. Pollen is a yellowish powder transported from plant to plant by the wind, birds, insects, animals or any living organism. Even though the spread of pollen helps in fertilisation, people with seasonal allergies are usually affected by the high pollen count.



An individual with pollen allergy usually has the following symptoms: sneezing, nasal congestion, a runny nose, watery eyes, an itchy throat and eyes as well as wheezing. Individuals with asthma, allergic rhinitis and hay fever are adversely affected by pollen and usually have similar symptoms.



Start taking medications in advance - take the tablets at least 12 weeks before the expected symptoms begin. Alternatively, you can take allergy shots which help the body in resisting pollen. These are available by prescription for individuals suffering from grass and ragweed allergies. Wearing sunglasses outdoors will help prevent pollen entering your eyes. Ask an allergist which medications (eye drops, nasal sprays, and oral medications) to use in advance before the season begins.


As Corporate 24 Medical Aid, we understand the unsettling nature of allergies. With our Three to Five Star Plans which consist of Specialist and Pharmacy services, you have cover for your check-up visits and medication. Your health needs are catered for in more ways than one!

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