There are many types of allergies. The four most common branches of allergies are indoor, outdoor, skin and food (and drug) allergies.
Known scientifically as perennial allergic rhinitis, indoor allergies are often called "nasal" allergies and result from allergens commonly found indoors. They are inhaled into the nose and the lungs causing allergic reactions. Examples of indoor allergens include airborne cat or dog dander, dust mite feces and mold spores.
An estimated 10 million people are allergic to cat dander, making it the most common pet allergy. House dust, which is comprised of many of these allergens, is unsurprisingly a very common trigger for allergic individuals.
Some measures you can take to alleviate suffering include:
- avoiding certain pets,
- cleaning carpets regularly,
- throwing out overstuffed or old furniture and pillows as well as bedding not washable in hot water.
- Vacuuming more frequently
- and cleaning the air ducts.
Outdoor allergies comprise the other part of the most common allergies. 75 percent of all allergy suffers struggle with either indoor or outdoor allergies, or a combination of the two. In fact, many who struggle with allergies experience more than one type. The most common outdoor allergy triggers are tree, grass and weed pollen. These are generally treated with prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Outdoor allergies are often referred to as seasonal allergies since many of the allergic triggers only abound during certain times of the year. Certain molds, trees, grasses and weeds are among seasonal allergens.
To reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies it often helps to remain inside during peak pollen times (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), keeping the car windows rolled up, staying indoors when humidity is high or when winds are high and by showering after spending time outdoors to remove pollen that collects on the skin.
A third type of allergies relates to the skin. Some scientific words for these allergies are atopic dermatitis, eczema, hives and contact allergies. Seven percent of allergy sufferers have skin allergies as their primary allergy.
Poison ivy, oak and other plant allergens are the most common triggers in skin allergies. However, certain foods or products such as latex might also cause skin irritation as can allergies to bees, ants, wasps and other insects. Skin reactions usually occur within 48 hours after exposure to the allergen.
Symptoms include redness, blistering, rashes and swelling. Like other allergies, treatments can be found in over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Most skin allergies can be relieved by utlizing topical creams as well as by isolating, then avoiding, the allergen.
The last main group of allergies relates to food and drug. Roughly 6 percent of allergy suffers experience food and drug allergies. Food allergies are more common among children. In some cases, they can be outgrown. Regardless, the majority of all food reactions are caused by eight foods. They are milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. Penicillin is the most common drug allergy.