Allergies Causes & Risk Factors

Allergies Causes & Risk Factors

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    How old you are when you're exposed is critical, and viruses may also play a role. Recent studies show that heavy exposure early in life - before age 2 - may be protective against animal allergies and asthma.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    It's not just mold and mildew (both allergens in their own right) that thrive in moist, warm environments. Dust mites are big fans, too. Buy a hygrometer to measure the moisture in your home, and if necessary, purchase dehumidifiers to tackle moisture trouble spots.
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    If other members of your family have allergies, you are at a higher risk for having allergies yourself. Likewise, if you have one type of allergy, you have an increased risk of having another allergy-so if you have hay fever, you have a higher risk of developing a food allergy. In addition, increased exposure to certain allergens can raise your risk for developing an allergy: health care workers, for example, are more likely to develop an allergy to latex.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Feathers are often overlooked as a source of allergy. Of course they are on birds but can be present in the home and other environments even when there are no birds -- in pillows, for example, and sometimes on costumes.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Where do winter allergens linger the most in the house?
    Winter allergens (pet and dust allergens) stay in the air longer, and live on your bedding/furniture, so it's key to keep your house clean and use an air purifier. Watch me share tips for winter allergy sufferers. 
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    Certain factors can increase your risk of having environmental allergies. If your close family members (parents, siblings) have allergies, then your risk is increased. Children are more likely to develop allergies than adults, though adults can also develop allergies. Also, people with asthma are more likely to develop allergies.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Cytokines -- small proteins that influence immune response, although their role in allergic inflammation is difficult to pin down -- are made not only in immune system cells called mast cells and basophils but also in practically any cell directly or indirectly involved in the allergic response. To complicate things still further, they can cause inflammation or can be anti-inflammatory.

    The development of new medications that interfere with the action of cytokines is the focus of current research.
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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    Something in your physical surroundings may act as an irritant that triggers an allergic reaction or asthmatic symtoms in susceptible workers.  Of course, some professions have a higher risk of possible exposure to allergic or asthmatic triggers than others.  Although there can be plenty of dust in the offices of people in white-collar occupations, dust mites can also annoy warehouse, maintenance and construction workers.  Still, dust can come in many forms:  wood dust may be troublesome to carpenters and woodworkers, and food dust from flour could irk bakers, pastry chefs and pizza makers.  Seasonal pollen allergies can be a real nuisance to those who work outdoors as landscapers, postal carriers or on highway maintenance crews.  Any number of jobs at manufacturing plants or refineries can cause employees to regularly breathe in chemical vapors that may bother nasal and lung passageways.  According to the World Health Organization, workplace exposure to fumes, gases or dust are responsible for 11% of asthma cases worldwide. And some estimates suggest that roughly 20% of new cases of asthma in adults are work related. Compared to your surroundings at home, you have less control over the work environment which includes the ventilation system, the location where you work, how often it gets cleaned, the temperature and humidity and even the materials used on te job. These factors can influence your risk of work-related reactions.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    It is estimated that up to one half of those who suffer with seasonal allergies to pesky tree, grass and weed pollens each year may succumb to "oral allergy syndrome". That's right! Due to a "cross-reaction" between proteins in fresh fruit, some vegetables, nuts (including hazelnut and almond which may be found in coffee beverages) and even spices, the immune system believes it may be under attack.

    The verdict may be "oral allergy symptoms" such as tingling, itchiness of the lips, tongue, mouth and even throat after the ingestion of a various foods that trigger localized, largely mild, oral symptoms.

    The good news is that in many cases, when possible, simply peeling or cooking the fresh fruits can "knock out" the proteins responsible for these common and annoying symptoms that may also aggravate seasonal allergy symptoms. In many allergy sufferers this condition is chiefly manifested during the pollen season.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Many of us don't realize that we spend about one-third of each day at home (except less for workaholics) and during this time we are exposed to potential indoor allergens. The most common causes of indoor or year-round allergies include house dust, dust mites, pet dander, feather bedding, mold spores and cockroach allergens.