About all

Outdoor allergens: Indoor and Outdoor Allergy Differences

Indoor and Outdoor Allergy Differences

One out of every five Americans has an allergy, which means that the body’s defense system, the immune system, overreacts to foreign substances — called allergens.

Indoor and outdoor allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies, or hay fever, are the most common types of allergies. Of the 50 million Americans with allergy symptoms, about 40 million are affected by an outdoor or indoor allergy.

These types of allergies may produce similar symptoms, but there are differences in where and when they occur. “Outdoor allergies are more seasonal, and indoor allergies are more obvious in the winter when people spend more time inside,” explains Jill A. Poole, MD, an allergy specialist and assistant professor of internal medicine pulmonary at the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Indoor and Outdoor Allergy Symptoms

Although indoor and outdoor allergies have different causes, the symptoms can be similar. “There is a great deal of overlap between indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms,” says Poole. “Generally, outdoor allergy symptoms are the itchy, runny, sneezing type. Indoor allergy symptoms tend to be more stuffy congestion and post nasal drip.”

The most common symptoms for both types of allergies include:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Scratchy throat

Other symptoms may include headache, asthma, and fatigue.

Common Causes of Indoor and Outdoor Allergies

Allergies tend to run in families. If both your parents have allergies, you have about a 70-percent chance of having them also. Many people who have allergies are allergic to more than one allergen, so you could have both indoor and outdoor allergy triggers.

The most common sources of indoor allergies are:

  • Pets. A main cause of indoor allergies is animal dander, a protein found on the skin and in the saliva of furry pets. “Cats are the most common pet allergy,” says Dr. Poole.
  • Dust mites. Dust mites are tiny creatures that live in your mattress, carpet, upholstered furniture, and other areas of your home.
  • Mice. “Mice and other rodents also have dander and can be a common cause of indoor allergy,” notes Poole.
  • Cockroaches. “This indoor allergen is common in urban areas. If you see one cockroach, you can assume there are many more,” says Poole.

The most common sources of outdoor allergens are pollens, and include:

  • Tree pollens, which are most common in the spring.
  • Grass pollens, which are most common in the summer.
  • Weed pollens, which are most common in the summer and fall. Ragweed pollen in particular is the most common cause of fall allergy symptoms.

Another allergen to be aware of is mold. “Mold allergy can be an outdoor or an indoor allergy,” says Poole. “It is most common as an outdoor allergy in the spring.

Indoor and Outdoor Allergy Relief

There is no cure for allergies, but the best way to get allergy relief is to avoid the allergens you know affect you. “That’s especially true for indoor allergy,” says Poole. “You should see an allergist and get skin tested to identify your allergies. Then you can take action to control them.”

Here are some tips for controlling indoor allergy symptoms:

  • Groom your pet. Pet allergy symptoms pose a difficult problem if you had the pet before you knew you had the allergy, and are attached to your furry friend. You can decrease allergy symptoms by frequent grooming and keeping your pet out of your bedroom. However, if your pet is causing asthma symptoms, you need to consider finding it a new home, Poole says.
  • Minimize dust. For dust allergy symptoms, use mattress and pillow covers. Go for hardwood floors instead of carpeting. Keep stuffed animals off your bed and wash all bedding in hot water once per week. “Air filters work better for dust allergies than they do for pet dander,” says Poole.
  • Exterminate. For mice or cockroach problems, your best bet is to call an exterminator.

Here are some ways to help decrease outdoor allergy symptoms:

  • Close your windows during allergy season and keep the air conditioning on.
  • Don’t hang your wash outside to dry.
  • Change your clothes and wash up after coming in from outdoors.
  • Check pollen levels and avoid being outdoors when they peak.

Over-the-counter allergy medications may also help treat allergy symptoms. “One of the best treatments is a saline nasal spray, rinse, or eye drop. These solutions are cheap and they work well to flush allergens out of your system,” advises Poole.

If you need more allergy relief, work with your primary care doctor or your allergist to find a prescription pill or spray that helps. Allergy shots are another option for treating persistent allergy symptoms.

Allergy symptoms can be annoying, but by identifying your triggers and taking some steps to reduce exposure, you can avoid some of the sniffling, sneezing, and itching.

Pollen, Mold, Dander, and More

Warmer weather may feel good after a long, cold winter, but spring can be rough on the nose and eyes. That’s because hay fever, a seasonal allergy to pollen, kicks in just as the sunnier days arrive. Never been near a bale of hay, you say? You may still have hay fever, caused by the pollen from a variety of trees, grasses, and weeds. The allergy’s hallmarks-stuffy nose, watery eyes, and fatigue-are a minor annoyance for some and bring full-blown misery to others.

Hay fever is not the only kind of spring allergy, but it is the most common. As many as 50 million people in the United States have allergies — and nearly 36 million of them have hay fever, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

Don’t settle for all that sniffling, sneezing, and teariness. Work with a doctor to find out what’s causing your allergies. Hay fever treatments are plentiful, including over-the-counter products, prescription drugs, and allergy shots. With proper care, “most everybody can get through the season without a whole lot of distress,” agrees Larry Williams, MD, of the pediatric allergy and immunology division of Duke University Medical Center.

Your first step: Decide to take control. Use this guide to learn more about the kind of seasonal allergy you may have, house hold tips to help keep allergens away, and treatment options in and beyond your medicine cabinet.

The ABCs of Allergens

Allergies are classified by their source (such as food allergies) or the part of the body they affect (such as skin allergies). Some allergies last all year, including those to food, medicines, latex, dust mites, insect stings, and animal dander. Other allergies, like hay fever, are seasonal. That’s because from spring through fall, plants reproduce by spreading pollen through the air. In people with hay fever, pollen irritates the immune system, triggering a host of allergy symptoms.

Nasal allergies, including hay fever, can irritate the eyes, nose, roof of the mouth, and throat. Top culprits include:

  • Animal dander. Dead skin cells from animals.
  • Dust mites. Microscopic insects that live in household dust, even in tidy homes. “Dust mites have to have conditions of warmth and humidity” to thrive, says Williams.
  • Mold spores from fungi. Spores that thrive indoors in damp areas, such as basements and bathrooms. They also gather outside in warm climates and in leaf piles.
  • Pollen. A fine, powdery substance released by trees and plants, including ragweed, grasses, and, of course, hay. Flowering plants, such as roses, usually don’t cause allergy symptoms. Their pollen is too large to be carried by wind.
  • False irritants. Tobacco smoke and perfumes can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, but they’re not allergens.

The Hay Fever/Sinusitis Connection

Seasonal nasal allergies, such as hay fever (or rhinitis, its medical term) and sinusitis, often go hand in hand. Why? Hay fever can cause swelling of the opening to the sinuses. If the sinuses inside the skull don’t drain adequately, an infection can develop that leads to worse symptoms.

People with hay fever are more likely to develop sinusitis than those without hay fever. Of course, not everyone with hay fever gets sinusitis. But “definitely, the data suggest that people who have allergies and sinus disease have worse sinus problems,” says Michael Schatz, MD, MA, chief of Kaiser Permanente’s allergy department in San Diego.

That’s one more reason to seek treatment if you have an allergy, says Williams. Anything you do to cut down on congestion-such as treating your hay fever as early as possible should help your head feel clearer and might help you avoid sinusitis.

Home in on Solutions

Hands down, your No. 1 defense is to avoid the allergens that make you so miserable. You can’t get rid of pollen outside, but you can tweak your daily routine to limit it indoors. Some tips:

  • Shut it. Close the windows at home and in your car.
  • Air it. If you need to cool down, run the air conditioning instead of opening the windows. Also, put the air on “recirculate” so you’re not bringing in outside air filled with pollen.
  • Case it. Put pillows, box springs, and mattresses in cases that keep dust mites out.
  • Wash it. Throw sheets, comforters, blankets, curtains, and washable stuffed animals regularly into the washing machine, set to the hottest water temperature the material can handle.
  • Dry it. Use the clothes dryer. Dust mites can’t take the heat.
  • Clean it. Keep kitchens and bathrooms clean and dry. If you use a humidifier, clean it regularly so it doesn’t become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
  • Freeze it. If your kids have dust mite allergies and their toys can’t be washed, put the toys in the freezer for 48 hours every two weeks. Freezing temperatures will kill the dust mites, Duke University’s Williams says.
  • Expose it. To further reduce dust mites, consider replacing your carpeting with hard flooring and getting rid of upholstered furniture.
  • Ask about it. Ask your doctor if your allergies are linked to your pet, and what to do about it.
  • Store it. In the basement or attic, put away collectibles and clothes in plastic storage bags and run a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth.

Treatments range from OTC to alternative

Here’s how to get the right treatment for your symptoms. If you have:

  • Mild hay fever: An over-the-counter product may be all you need. The key ingredient-antihistamine-targets histamines, which are chemicals your body makes in response to allergens. Histamines cause runny noses and eyes, itching, and sneezing. Check product labels about a risk of drowsiness with some products. Non-drowsy antihistamines are also available.
  • Severe or long-lasting hay fever: If over-the-counter medicines aren’t working, see a physician. “These days, with the medications that are available, seasonal allergies are usually very well controlled,” says Michael Schatz, MD. Prescription medications come in three forms: antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and medicines targeting allergy-related chemicals called leukotrienes. Any doctor can prescribe those drugs, not just allergists, says Williams.

Alternative Approaches

Acupuncture, part of traditional Chinese medicine, has shown promise in some allergy studies. In acupuncture, very fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body to rebalance what practitioners call chi, or vital energy.


Although there is little research on the use of supplements for hay fever, one herb has undergone clinical testing. One study showed that an extract called butterbur Ze330 worked as well as a prescription antihistamine. It also did not cause sleepiness, which may make it a better option than some over-the-counter allergy remedies.

Researchers have also looked at vitamin C and other supplements, such as urtica dioica, bromelain, quercetin, and N-acetylcysteine, for fighting allergies. At this point, there is little evidence that they work.

Tell your doctors about any other treatments or products you’re taking so they can watch for interactions with medicines.

A Shot of Hope

Allergy shots can be very effective, Schatz says. But they’re not an instant fix or the first option most people try (nor are they a good idea for people with heart disease or uncontrolled asthma). They also take time. Allergy shots can take a year to help.

Typically, patients try allergy shots if other allergy drugs haven’t helped or if they need allergy medicines for more than half of the year.


Allergy shots require repeated doctor visits. First, doctors pinpoint the allergy’s source. They prick the skin with tiny allergen doses, checking for allergic reactions.

Next, patients get allergy shots in their upper arm once or twice weekly for several months. Over time, patients are given increasingly higher doses of the allergy trigger to slowly help their body become more used to it. If the shots work, patients get maintenance doses every two to four weeks for up to five more years.

Allergic reactions to allergy shots are rare, but possible. After all, the shots do contain allergens. Reactions can include itchy eyes, runny nose, shortness of breath, or throat tightness. Take an antihistamine and seek emergency medical care for those symptoms.

How You Can Keep Outdoor Allergens From Coming Indoors – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Whether it’s trees, grass or ragweed causing allergy symptoms, one thing is for sure ― it’s best to leave outdoor allergens … outdoors.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Allergist Sandra Hong, MD, says one extremely common way outdoor allergens make their way inside are on our furry friends.

“If you have pets, they’re covered in the pollen. So once you bring them in, and you’re hugging on them, you’re definitely going to have pollen indoors,” Dr. Hong explains.

And if they sleep with you ― it’s like you’re bringing the tree into your home.

To keep dogs and cats from bringing outdoor pollens into your home, Dr. Hong says it’s best to bathe them regularly. It’s also a good idea to keep pets out of the bedroom at all times, and especially out of the bed.

You’re also a carrier

You might forget about it, but Dr. Hong reminds people that allergens can travel on our clothes and skin too.

So it’s wise to shower before climbing into bed to avoid spreading those allergens all over your sheets and pillows.

If you find that your eyes get very irritated during allergy season, she suggests wearing protective goggles while outdoors ― or protective eye wear ― to help keep pollens out of your eyes.

Saline sprays are your friend

To keep allergens from camping out in your sinuses, Dr. Hong recommends using a saline spray.

“One of the things I’ve really had my patients consider doing is getting some sort of saline spray ― it’s like giving your sinuses a bath,” she says. “If you actually rinse out the pollens once you’ve come into your home, they’re not going to sit in there all night long causing allergy symptoms.”

Last critical tip? Keeping windows closed during allergy season is a must for those who have an allergy sufferer in the home, Dr. Hong notes. It’s also a good idea to keep car windows shut when pollens are especially active.

Indoor vs. outdoor allergies: top tips for managing symptoms – Blog

Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on March 25, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

We’re approaching spring, and while the blooming plants and trees are pleasant to look at, unfortunately, for the more than 50 million of us who suffer from seasonal allergies annually, these pretty blooms are often anything but pleasant.

The good news?

We’ve gathered some helpful tips and info about the different types of indoor and outdoor allergens and when to watch for them, as well as advice on how to relieve allergies—all year round.

With our easy at-home allergy test, you can check for 40 common indoor and outdoor allergens to find out what might be causing your uncomfortable symptoms.

[![Everlywell](//images. ctfassets.net/ut7rzv8yehpf/61Mw9PPbNDpIBpbNk5X6UI/81c96f60b8f134a1e2b1c6ca64e23fea/BlogCTA_v3.jpg)](https://www.everlywell.com/products/)

Outdoor allergies

Common outdoor allergens include trees, grasses, and weeds. Blown easily by the wind, these allergens are particularly prevalent on breezy days. Peak season for most trees and grasses is during the spring months (generally around March through May) when they pollinate, or blossom.

Weeds tend to pollinate later in the season after trees and grasses do, so keep that in mind if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms around late summer or early fall during their pollination season. Ragweed is a major cause of hay fever, but there are other weeds to watch for as well. (Hay fever occurs when the immune system overreacts to pollen in the air, causing a number of different symptoms like congestion, runny nose, and sneezing.)

Although outdoor allergens are obviously outdoors, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid the outside world altogether during peak allergy season. There are still some ways you can enjoy the outdoors and reduce your exposure.

So what helps with allergies? Read on for some top tips if you’re wondering how to stop allergies—or at least reduce their severity.

Track pollen counts

A simple way to reduce your exposure to outdoor allergens is to track pollen counts in your area. Various online resources can show you real-time pollen counts and forecasts based on your location. A simple online search for “allergy forecast” should do the trick.

Plan outdoor activities for certain times of day

Little-known fact: pollen counts tend to be highest during the morning hours between 5 and 10 a.m., so if outdoor allergens were high on your test results, one way to reduce your exposure and still enjoy the outdoors is to plan your activities for later in the day. Trade your morning run for a sunset jog. Take the dog for a walk after dinner. Opt for an indoor yoga class in the morning.

While unavoidable, you can still be better prepared for yourself outdoor allergens by trying to limit outdoor activity on high-count days, keeping the windows closed inside your home and in your car, and showering before bed just in case you accidentally brought any outdoor allergens home with you. By taking these steps, you may be able to reduce your allergy symptoms.

Indoor allergies

Indoor allergens, on the other hand, can be present all year round. The most common indoor offender: dust mites.

Microscopic creatures not visible to the naked eye, dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments, and are often found in carpets, mattresses, and couches. Like outdoor allergens, there are some simple ways you can reduce your exposure.

Housekeeping tips for dust mites:

  • Use synthetic and not down pillows
  • Clean bedding in hot water and vacuum the bed base weekly
  • Use cotton blankets instead of wool
  • Reduce the number of drapes or wall hangings in your home
  • Avoid carpeted floors, if possible

Indoor/outdoor allergens

And still some pesky allergens can be both indoors and outdoors. Pet dander, mold, and pests, to name a few. All of these allergens can cause unwanted symptoms like a stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and more. (Related: Is it an allergy or cold?)

Tips for pet dander

Pet dander can be a tricky one because it tends to grab onto things and stick to them like a magnet, whether that’s your clothing, furniture, bedding, or even your hair. Because dogs and cats like to hang out both outside and inside, this one can be a bit tough to manage because dander from pets you encounter outside can be carried into your home with you without you even knowing it. But don’t worry, there are plenty of simple ways you can reduce your exposure and tackle pet dander before it tackles you.

Keep your home clean

It’s as simple as that. Vacuum often, brush your pets outdoors if you have moderate or high reactivity to pet dander (or have a friend or family member do this for you), and try to keep pets off your bed or out of the bedroom. If you allow pets on furniture, give them a special spot.

Going over to someone’s house who has a pet? Ask your friends to throw you a bone (no pun intended). If you’re planning a get together with friends who have pets in their home, maybe ask them to keep their pets out of common areas while you’re around or ask them to keep their pets off the furniture. Suggest dining al fresco vs at a dining table frequented by Fifi. If possible, try to avoid carpeted areas that may have more dander buildup than hardwood or tile floors, for example.

Mold reduction

Mold can be another common indoor and outdoor offender. Although it typically thrives in damp, humid environments and coastal areas, it can also be found in dry areas and desert climates.

A few ways to combat mold? Keep the temperature controlled in your home whether with a fan, air conditioner, or humidifier, and be sure to change filters regularly and watch for any water leaks. In damp places like bathrooms where mold may be more likely to grow, be vigilant about cleaning, and replace shower curtain liners, which may be susceptible to mold growth, often.

Pest control

No one likes to think about pests like mice and cockroaches, but unfortunately, they’re a reality, particularly in urban areas. To reduce your exposure to these creepy crawlers, the same tips apply: keep your home clean.

Although allergens are prevalent both indoors and outdoors, some seasonally, and some throughout the year, being aware is the first step toward prevention. There are plenty of ways to reduce your exposure, so you can find relief and enjoy life, whether you’re snuggled up indoors or exploring the great outdoors.

With the Everlywell Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test, you can check antibody reactivity levels to 40 different indoor and outdoor allergens—from the convenience of home. By identifying potential allergy triggers, you can take steps to reduce your exposure and relieve symptoms.

Related content

Is it a cold or allergies?

Fact or fiction? Top 5 truths about allergies you need to know

We’re exposing indoor and outdoor allergies

Pet allergies: causes, symptoms, and remedies

5 ways to prevent dust mite allergies

How to welcome the spring season without the allergy attacks

Indoor and outdoor airborne allergens: what are they and how to prevent them


1. Allergy Facts. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. URL. Accessed March 26, 2020.

2. Outdoor allergens. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. URL. Accessed March 26, 2020.

3. Ragweed Pollen Allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. URL. Accessed March 26, 2020.

4. Pollen. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. URL. Accessed March 26, 2020.

5. Dust mite allergy. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed March 26, 2020.

6. Pet Allergy: Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats? Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. URL. Accessed March 26, 2020.

7. Mold Allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. URL. Accessed March 26, 2020.

Outdoor Allergens | AAAAI

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever, affects millions of people worldwide. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffiness, a runny nose and itchiness in your nose, the roof of your mouth, throat, eyes or ears. These allergic reactions are most commonly caused by pollen and mold spores in the air, which start a chain reaction in your immune system.

Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, the immune system identifies pollen as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.


Pollen are tiny grains needed to fertilize many kinds of plants. Pollen from plants with colorful flowers, like roses, usually do not cause allergies. These plants rely on insects to transport the pollen for fertilization. On the other hand, many plants have flowers which produce powdery pollen that are easily spread by wind. These culprits cause allergy symptoms.

Each plant has a period of pollination that does not vary much from year to year. However, the weather can affect the amount of pollen in the air at any time. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is often caused by tree pollen in the early spring. During the late spring and early summer, grass pollen often cause symptoms. Late summer and fall hay fever is caused by weed pollen. In warmer places, pollination can be year-round.


Molds are tiny fungi related to mushrooms but without stems, roots or leaves. Molds can be almost anywhere, including soil, plants and rotting wood. Their spores float in the air, much like pollen. Outdoor mold spores begin to increase as temperatures rise in the spring. In the United States, mold spores reach their peak in July in warmer states and October in the colder states. They can be found year-round in the South and on the West Coast.

Pollen and Mold Levels

Pollen and mold counts measure the amount of allergens present in the air. There is a difference between a pollen count and a pollen forecast. Pollen counts reflect real-time conditions. Pollen and mold forecasts are often based on past pollen data and general weather forecasts.

The National Allergy Bureau™ (NAB™) is the nation’s only pollen and mold counting network certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). The NAB compiles pollen and mold levels from certified stations across the nation. You can find counts for your geographic region at www.aaaai.org/nab.

The relationship between pollen and mold levels and your allergic rhinitis symptoms can be complex. Your symptoms may be affected by recent contact with other allergens, the amount of pollen exposure and your sensitivity to pollen and mold.

Effects of Weather and Location

Hay fever symptoms are often less prominent on rainy, cloudy or windless days because pollen does not move around during these conditions. Pollen tends to travel more with hot, dry and windy weather, which can increase your allergy symptoms.

Some people think that moving to another area of the country may help to lessen their symptoms. However, many types of pollen (especially grasses) and molds are common to most plant zones, so moving to escape your allergies is not recommended. Also, you are likely to find new allergens to react to in new environments.


If your seasonal symptoms are making you miserable, an allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, can help.

Your allergist has the background and experience to determine which allergens, if any, are causing your symptoms. This information will form the basis of a treatment plan to help you feel better. Your personalized plan will include steps to avoid contact with allergens. Your physician may also talk to you about medications for temporary relief.

If your symptoms continue or if you have them for many months of the year, your allergist may recommend allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots). This treatment involves receiving regular injections given in gradually increasing doses. This helps your immune system become more resistant to the specific allergen and lessen your symptoms as well as the need for medications.

There are also simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to the pollen or molds that cause your symptoms:

• Keep your windows closed at night and if possible, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools and dries the air.

• Try to stay indoors when the pollen or mold counts are high. If your symptoms are severe, wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable. When you return indoors, take a shower, shampoo your hair and change clothes.

• Avoid being responsible for mowing lawns or raking leaves. This stirs up pollen and molds. Also avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry.

• When traveling by car, keep your windows closed.

• Take any medications as prescribed.

Healthy Tips

• Seasonal allergic rhinitis is the medical term for the condition commonly referred to as hay fever.

• Seasonal allergic rhinitis causes sneezing, stuffiness, a runny nose and itchiness in your nose, the roof of your mouth, throat, eyes or ears.

• Avoiding exposure during times of high pollen and mold counts will help ease symptoms.

• The majority of hay fever medications work best if started before a pollen season begins.

• Allergy shots can often provide long-term relief of hay fever symptoms.

Feel Better. Live Better.

An allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, is a pediatrician or internist with at least two additional years of specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma, immune deficiencies and other immunologic diseases.

By visiting the office of an allergist, you can expect an accurate diagnosis, a treatment plan that works and educational information to help you manage your disease and feel better.

The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist / Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.

If you would like to order a brochure on this topic visit the AAAAI Store.

This article has been reviewed by Andrew Moore, MD, FAAAAI

Reviewed: 9/28/20

Indoor & Outdoor Allergies | Allergy & Asthma Care, P.A.

Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system in which the body’s defenses react to a usually harmless substance in the environment (aeroallergen). The immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). The IgE then travels to cells that release chemicals that cause inflammation in the body. Symptoms usually include sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose or eyes, and itching of the nose, mouth, throat, eyes or ears. In some people, they can also affect other organ systems such as the lungs or skin.

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Allergies

Environmental allergies are usually classified as indoor (perennial) or outdoor (seasonal).

Indoor allergens include animal dander, dust mite droppings, cockroach droppings, and mold. These allergens are usually present all year around and can be more harmful than the outdoor allergens.

Outdoor allergens are usually pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, ragweed, and spores from mold. Each of these have a period of the year in which their levels can rise and fall.

Managing Your Allergies

During the seasons, pollen counts of the air are done so that one can try to limit exposure effectively. Finding the right treatment is the best method for managing your allergies. A Board Certified Allergist has the training and experience to test which substances are causing symptoms. A Board Certified Allergist is a pediatrician or internist or both with at least two years of training in an Allergy and Clinical Immunology program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disease. Treatment plans can be devised which include the following:

How to Limit Exposure to or Avoid Allergies

One way to treat allergies is the appropriate use of medications that include antihistamines, decongestants, inhaled nasal steroids, leukotriene modifiers and oral steroids periodically.

Immunotherapy or desensitization treatment (allergy shots) may be recommended for certain people. This approach involves receiving regular injections, which help the immune system become increasingly resistant to the specific allergen thus reducing symptoms as well as medication requirements. Allergen desensitization is the only disease-modifying treatment available. Currently, subcutaneous treatment and some sublingual treatments are an FDA-approved mode of desensitization in the United States.

By visiting a Board Certified Allergist, you can expect an accurate diagnosis, a treatment plan that works, and educational information to help manage your disease.

How to Avoid Outdoor Allergens

How to Avoid Outdoor Allergens | ZYRTEC®
Skip to main content

By the end of winter everyone’s itching to get outdoors – especially kids and dogs. Make sure your family’s open-air activities are fun and tissue free by keeping these factors in mind.

1. The Time

The pollen count is at its highest between 10 AM and 5 PM. Try not to spend too much time outdoors during these hours.

2. The Weather

Weather conditions play a big role in the pollen count. Two simple tips to keep in mind –stay indoors when it’s windy and venture outside after a heavy rain shower.

3. Indoors

As soon as you get inside, take a shower, wash your hair and throw your clothes into a laundry basket.

4. Pets

Minimize your pooch or cat’s shedding by grooming him regularly, especially as the seasons change. You should also brush him off as soon as he comes inside so that he doesn’t bring pollen into your home.

5. Planning Ahead

The ZYRTEC® ALLERGYCAST® app allows you to check the pollen and weather forecast before you head outdoors. You can also log and track your allergy symptoms so that know what pollen affects you and when.

Standard data rates for your plan apply.

More About Outdoor Allergies

Featured Product

Use only as directed.

Features From Living with Allergies

Get savings now and don’t forget to look for our email newsletters with seasonal allergy tips and alerts for our biggest savings.

Link your social account

{* loginWidget *}

Or use your traditional account

{* #userInformationForm *}
{* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *}
{* traditionalSignIn_password *}

Registration permits you to participate in all areas of this site. By submitting your information above, you agree that the information you provide will be governed by our site’s <a href=”/privacy” target=”_blank”>Privacy Policy</a>.

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}{* traditionalSignIn_createButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

Welcome back, {* welcomeName *}!

{* loginWidget *}

Welcome back!

{* #userInformationForm *}
{* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *}
{* traditionalSignIn_password *}

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

Registration permits you to participate in all areas of this site. By submitting your information above, you agree that the information you provide will be governed by our site’s <a href=”/privacy” target=”_blank”>Privacy Policy</a>.

All Fields required, unless otherwise indicated

{* #socialRegistrationForm *}

{* socialRegistration_firstName *}
{* socialRegistration_lastName *}

{* socialRegistration_gender *}
{* socialRegistration_zipcode *}

{* socialRegistration_emailAddress *}

{% customQuestions %}

{% customOptin %}

Registration permits you to participate in all areas of this site. By submitting your information above, you agree that the information you provide will be governed by our site’s <a href=”/privacy” target=”_blank”>Privacy Policy</a>.

{* /socialRegistrationForm *}

Get savings now and don’t forget to look for our email newsletters with seasonal allergy tips and alerts for our biggest savings.

Please fill-in the information below. Already have an account? <a href=”/%23″ data-capturescreen=”signIn”>Sign In</a>

Link an existing account:

{* loginWidget *}

Or create an account by providing the information below.

All fields required, unless otherwise indicated.

{* #registrationForm *}

{* traditionalRegistration_firstName *}
{* traditionalRegistration_lastName *}

{* traditionalRegistration_gender *}
{* traditionalRegistration_zipcode *}

{* traditionalRegistration_emailAddress *}

{* traditionalRegistration_password *}

{* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirm *}

{% customQuestions %}

{% customOptin %}

Registration permits you to participate in all areas of this site. By submitting your information above, you agree that the information you provide will be governed by our site’s <a href=”/privacy” target=”_blank”>Privacy Policy</a>.

{* /registrationForm *}

{* #requirementsPostLoginForm *}
{* firstName *}
{* lastName *}
{* gender *}
{* address *}
{* zipcode *}
{* addressType *}

Registration permits you to participate in all areas of this site. By submitting your information above, you agree that the information you provide will be governed by our site’s @privacy_policy.

{* saveButton *}
{* /requirementsPostLoginForm *}

We’ll send you a link to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *}
{* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *}

{* /forgotPasswordForm *}

Looks like you have an existing account with us. We have made some changes to our site and we need you to create a new password in order to login. Click send to recieve an email with instructions on how to create your new password.

{* #optinUserNewPasswordForm *}
{* optinUser_emailAddress *}

{* /optinUserNewPasswordForm *}

We’ve sent an email with instructions to create a new password.

{* mergeAccounts *}

{* #tradAuthenticateMergeForm *}
{* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *}
{* mergePassword *}

{* /tradAuthenticateMergeForm *}

{* #privacyPolicyPostLoginForm *}

By clicking Accept below, you confirm that you have read, understand and accept our most recent <a href=”/privacy” target=”_blank”>Privacy Policy</a>.

{* /privacyPolicyPostLoginForm *}

You do not meet the minimum age requirement to sign in to this site

Your account is deactivated.

90,000 Household allergens

A comprehensive study that allows you to determine the sensitization to the most commonly detected household allergens in clinical practice. The result is given for each allergen included in the study.

Russian synonyms

Specific class E immunoglobulins against house dust, mold, pets, birds, cockroaches.

Synonyms English

ImmunoCAP – household allergens.

Research method

Immunofluorescence on solid phase (ImmunoCAP).


kU / l (kilo unit of allergen per liter).

What biomaterial can be used for research?

Venous blood.

How to properly prepare for the study?

  • Do not smoke for 30 minutes prior to examination.

General information about the study

Allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction.In atopic diseases, allergens stimulate the formation of IgE antibodies and are causal factors in the development of clinical symptoms of allergic diseases. The detection of specific immunoglobulins E in the blood to a certain allergen confirms its role in the development of type I (reaginic) allergic reactions, which means that it allows one to determine the possible “culprit” of the allergy and prescribe appropriate therapeutic and preventive measures.

One of the main routes of entry of an allergen into the body is through inhalation, and the most common allergens that cause year-round symptoms are household allergens.

In the course of this analysis, specific IgE to of the most common household allergens is determined by the ImmunoCAP method. ImmunoCAP is characterized by high accuracy and specificity: even very low concentrations of IgE antibodies are detected in a small amount of blood. The study is revolutionary and is based on the immunofluorescence method, which allows increasing the sensitivity several times compared to other assays. The World Health Organization and the World Organization of Allergists recognize ImmunoCAP diagnostics as the “gold standard” as it has been proven to be accurate and consistent in independent studies.In the Russian Federation, until now, the technique has not received widespread acceptance, although all over the world up to 80% of analyzes for specific immunoglobulins of class E are performed using ImmunoCAP.

Thus, the detection of specific IgE using this technique brings allergy diagnostics to a qualitatively new level.

Household dust – Greer allergen – becomes a common cause of allergic reactions, which are manifested by allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis.With household sensitization, allergic conjunctivitis is observed somewhat less often than with pollen, which is explained by the larger size of particles of household allergens. House dust includes house dust mites and their metabolic products, mold spores, excretions of domestic animals, cockroach allergens, bacteria, plant and inorganic particles, organic compounds from synthetic floor coverings, furniture.

House dust mites are one of the main sources of indoor allergens and make up the majority of house dust.These arthropods, about 0.3 mm in size, are not visible to the naked eye. They feed on human dandruff, which accumulates in mattresses, pillows, floors, carpets, stuffed toys and upholstered furniture. Among the representatives of house ticks, the most significant for the development of allergic reactions are Dermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus . D. pteronyssinus prefers a more humid environment than D. farinae . It is believed that about 50% of allergic patients and about 80% of children with bronchial asthma are sensitized to dust mites.

Microscopic molds are a common cause of severe bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic sinusitis and other respiratory allergies. Mold spores and fragments are ubiquitous and can cause year-round allergic symptoms. Mushrooms are both external and internal sources of allergens. On the street, microscopic fungi actively reproduce in soil and foliage. Indoors, mold spores are part of the dust.Places of growth of mushrooms can serve as food storage areas, dirty upholstery, garbage containers, other organic substrates, ordinary wallpaper, synthetic materials that keep damp for a long time, air conditioners, flower pots. In addition, fungi can grow on other surfaces as long as they have the right moisture. Basement or cold exterior walls, window moldings, shower curtains and fixtures are also typical mushroom growth areas. The concentration of fungal spores in the air increases when damp rooms are ventilated. Aspergillus fumigatus is often found in grain storage, in warehouses, in warm, humid rooms. It plays an important role in the development of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, allergic fungal sinusitis and some other diseases. Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as P. notatum ) is detected mainly in premises, in food storage facilities, in warehouses.

There are about 3500 cockroach species worldwide, but only five species can cause allergic reactions.Among them, the most frequent and widespread source of internal aeroallergens is red cockroach (Prusak) , which lives in dwellings and is an almost omnivorous insect. Its allergens are found in saliva, secretions, feces, egg shells, and dead specimens. The highest concentration of allergens is usually found in the kitchen, and they can be found not only in the air, but also in contaminated food.

Also, during the analysis, specific IgE to allergens of bird feathers – goose, chicken, duck, turkey are determined .As a rule, an allergic reaction can develop not so much on the feather itself, but on the remains of proteins that fall on the feathers during the life of the bird (saliva, plumage and skin secretions). These allergens are included in the epidermal group. In addition, this group includes wool, fluff, dandruff, excrement and animal saliva. They enter the body by air, by contact with animals, by contact with products that contain an allergen (clothes, pillows, blankets). Symptoms of allergies may be as follows: redness (hyperemia), skin rashes, hives, itching and scratching on the skin, swelling and swelling, redness and burning of the mucous membranes of the eyes, lacrimation, swelling of the eyelids, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, bronchospasm.An allergic reaction can occur in sensitized individuals through direct contact with birds (for example, when feeding them, harvesting cages), and when they are in places where birds live. It is an inhalation allergen, it can enter the body through the air, as a component of dust. An allergic reaction is possible even with a single contact with an allergen. Since bird allergens can be carried with human clothing, equipment, household items, they can be present even in places where there has never been a specific species of birds.Therefore, people who are sensitive to these allergens may suffer from allergies, even without having direct contact with them, but simply being near a person who is periodically in contact with bird allergens. In general, antigen proteins, which are contained on the feathers themselves, as well as in the excrement of birds, provoke allergies. Also, small mites, which parasitize the skin and feathers of birds, cause an allergic reaction. This option is possible when keeping poultry at home or through professional contact with people engaged in breeding.

Sensitization to animal allergens can cause severe allergic reactions and diseases. The main route of ingestion of the allergen into the body is inhalation, with the development of respiratory symptoms of allergies, redness and itching of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids, sneezing, rhinorrhea, cough, bronchospasm, shortness of breath. If allergens come into contact with the skin, sensitized persons may experience allergic dermatitis, urticaria. There is a misconception that animal dander causes allergies, but this is not the case.The main activity in the formation of an allergic reaction is shown by secretions (saliva, urine, etc.) and animal dander. Only after contact with the skin of the animal do the allergens get onto the coat. These allergens are included in the epidermal group. They enter the body by air, in contact with animals. Symptoms of allergies may be as follows: redness (hyperemia), skin rashes, hives, itching of the skin, swelling and swelling, redness and burning of the mucous membranes of the eyes, lacrimation, swelling of the eyelids, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, bronchospasm.The most powerful and widespread are allergens of cats and dogs , which are found in dandruff (epithelium), secretions of the sweat glands of animals. Cat allergens can persist for a long time (sometimes weeks and months) in the room where the animal was previously. Dog allergens are part of house dust and are present in large quantities not only in the premises where they live, but also in shopping centers, educational institutions, public transport and apartments where dogs do not live. There is cross-reactivity between some allergens in cats and dogs, as well as other animals (for example, horses, sheep, pigs, mice and rats), therefore, hypersensitivity to several species of animals is often detected.

What is the research used for?

  • Identification of sensitization to household allergens in children and adults;
  • determination of possible causes of allergic disease (allergic rhinitis / rhinoconjunctivitis, bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis) with a year-round course;
  • Decision on the advisability of determining specific IgE to individual allergens of this group.

When is the study scheduled?

  • If you suspect perennial allergies in children and adults;
  • when examining patients with redness and burning eyes, eyelid edema, lacrimation, sneezing, congestion, rhinorrhea, itching in the nose, cough, shortness of breath, bronchospasm, allergic dermatitis;
  • if skin tests are not possible.

What do the results mean?

Reference values ​​(for each allergen): 0 – 0.35 kU / l.

Reasons for a positive result for a specific allergen:

  • sensitization to this allergen;
  • exacerbation of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, bronchial asthma or atopic dermatitis, probably due to sensitization to an allergen.

Reasons for a negative result for a specific allergen:

  • lack of sensitization to the specified allergen;
  • Long-term limitation or exclusion of contact with allergens.

Download an example of the result

Important notes

  • This study is safe for the patient compared to skin tests (in vivo), as it excludes patient contact with the allergen. Taking antihistamines and age-related features do not affect the quality and accuracy of the study.

Also recommended

+ determination of specific immunoglobulins of class E to other allergens

Who orders the study?

Allergologist, pulmonologist, otorhinolaryngologist, dermatologist, pediatrician, therapist, general practitioner.


  • Thomas WR, Smith WA, Hales BJ. The allergenic specificities of the house dust mite. Chang Gung Med J 2004; 27 (8): 563-9.
  • Chapman MD, Vailes LD, Hayden ML, Platts-Mills TAE, Arruda LK. Cockroach allergens and their role in asthma. In Kay AB, editor. Allergy and allergic diseases. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science Ltd; 1996: 942-51.
  • Berzhets BM, Petrova NS, Barashkina OF, Efremenko II, Dotsenko EA, Prishchepa IM.Role of cockroaches Blatella germanica in the development of atopic bronchial asthma. [Russian] Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 2001; (4): 43-6.
  • Platts-Mills TA, Rakes G, Heymann PW. The relevance of allergen exposure to the development of asthma in childhood. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000; 105 (2 Pt 2): S503-8.

A set of studies to identify an allergen. Allergen panel “Universal” (extended)

General information about the study
Allergy tests containing the word “panel” in their name mean a comprehensive screening study that allows you to identify sensitization (increased sensitivity of the body) to a specific group of allergens.The result is given with an indication of the IgE concentration for each allergen separately.
Items in this panel that contain the word “mixture” in their title mean a one-time screening for allergy to a mixture (mixed) of allergens. At the same time, the result of this study does not imply the identification of sensitization to each specific allergen included in this mixture.

The “Universal (extended)” allergen panel consists of 20 allergens that often cause sensitization in the human body.It is intended for screening tests to identify significant allergens if an allergy is suspected.

The panel includes:
1. Cat epithelium. Cat allergens are very volatile. It is well known that cats spend a lot of time grooming. In doing so, they leave a large amount of allergenic saliva on their hairline, and then saliva spreads everywhere. The cause of the allergy is the so-called Felis domesticus allergen 1 or Pel d 1, produced by the sebaceous and salivary glands.It is found in cat saliva and on its skin and has the strongest allergenic properties, and is 1/10 of the particle size that forms house dust.

2. Epithelium of the dog. Dog allergens are dandruff, skin epithelium, saliva. The main dog allergen is a protein with a molecular weight of about 36 kDa. Allergens are highly volatile. Human exposure to allergens occurs through inhalation of dust.

3. A mixture of mold allergens (Penicillum notatym, Cladosporium herbarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Mucor racemosus, Alternaria tenius).Microscopic fungi are a common cause of severe bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic sinusitis, and other respiratory allergies. Mold spores and fragments are ubiquitous and can cause year-round allergic symptoms. Mushrooms are both external and internal sources of allergens. On the street, microscopic fungi actively reproduce in soil and foliage. Indoors, mold spores are part of the dust. Places of growth of mushrooms can serve as food storage areas, dirty upholstery, garbage containers, other organic substrates, ordinary wallpaper, synthetic materials that keep damp for a long time, air conditioners, flower pots.In addition, fungi can grow on other surfaces as long as they have the right moisture. Basement or cold exterior walls, window moldings, shower curtains and fixtures are also typical mushroom growth areas. The concentration of fungal spores in the air increases when damp rooms are ventilated.

4. A mixture of tree allergens – late flowering (ash-leaved maple, American beech, oak, willow, triangular poplar). Flowering time in central Russia is May. The pollen of late flowering trees has pronounced allergenic properties.If you are allergic to pollen from late flowering trees, cross-reactions to food allergens are possible – honey, apples, nuts, cherries, peaches, apricots, cherries, strawberries, young potatoes, carrots, olives, olives, birch juice, cognac.

5. A mixture of tree allergens – early flowering (gray alder, warty birch, hazel, hazel, American ash). Flowering time: April-May. The pollen of early flowering trees is a strong allergen. If you are allergic to pollen from early flowering trees, you may experience cross-allergic reactions to some food allergens – honey, apples, nuts, cherries, peaches, apricots, cherries, strawberries, young potatoes, carrots, olives, olives, birch juice, cognac.It is also not recommended to use phytopreparations based on birch leaves, birch buds, alder cones, buckthorn bark.

6. A mixture of meadow grasses (hedgehog, meadow fescue, perennial chaff (ryegrass), timothy grass, meadow bluegrass). These plants with light spikelets are found everywhere. The beginning of flowering of meadow grasses depends on the geographic region, weather conditions. They usually bloom from late May to August with maximum pollen levels from June to mid-July. The pollen can be carried by the wind over long distances and affect patients who are far from the source of pollination.In the presence of sensitization to meadow grass pollen, cross-allergic reactions to various types of cereals, birch, olive, wormwood, latex, to stone fruit (plum, peach) and pome fruit (apples, pears), kiwi, melon, celery allergens are possible. One of the manifestations of cross-allergy can be oral allergic syndrome – the appearance of swelling, tingling and itching in the gums, tongue, lips when eating the above plant foods. In the presence of an allergy to meadow grasses, it is possible to carry out pathogenetic treatment – allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT).

7. A mixture of weeds (common ragweed, common wormwood (Chernobyl), common daisy (popovnik), dandelion plantain). Usually, weed allergy manifests itself in the second half of summer – early autumn. Symptoms of seasonal allergies usually increase in dry, hot, windy weather, and improve on rainy, cloudy days when the concentration of pollen in the air decreases. If you are allergic to weeds, cross-reactions to sunflower seeds, sunflower oil and products that contain it (halva, mayonnaise, mustard), chicory, melon, watermelon, herbs and spices (celery, dill, cumin, parsley, curry , pepper, anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and coriander), for drinks prepared using wormwood (vermouth, balms, absinthe).Possible reactions to carrots, garlic, citrus fruits, bananas, zucchini, eggplants, lettuce, Jerusalem artichoke, honey. The use of phytopreparations of wormwood, chamomile, calendula, coltsfoot, elecampane, string, yarrow, tansy, dandelion is not allowed. In the presence of allergy to weeds, it is possible to carry out pathogenetic treatment – allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT).

8. Cow’s milk. The main protein allergens in cow’s milk are casein, alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactalbumin.The most common allergy to cow’s milk occurs in children. Sensitization can occur even in utero. In the first year of life, cow’s milk protein allergy is detected in 90% of all children suffering from atopic dermatitis. Even with significantly pronounced allergic manifestations of cow’s milk intolerance, the exclusion of it and dairy products from the diet leads to a rapid improvement in the child’s condition, and by the second year of life, spontaneous recovery often occurs, associated with the maturation of the mucous membrane of the digestive tract and all its protective mechanisms.Cow’s milk ingredients (casein, lactose, whey) can be found in many industrial foods.

9. Mixture of cereal allergens (wheat, barley, oats, corn, rice). Cereal allergens are food allergens that, when eaten, can contribute to the development of allergic diseases (eg, atopic dermatitis) in susceptible individuals. Cross-reactions to the pollen of grasses of the same family (cereals) are common: ryegrass, rye, bent grass, hedgehog, foxtail, timothy grass, as well as to honey, rolled oats and cereals, semolina, wheat germ, bran, bread crumbs, mixtures for making sauces and creams, meat products with fillers (sausages, sausages, canned meat), wheat-based coffee substitutes, beer, whiskey, wheat vodka, soybeans, beans, peanuts.Possible reactions to strawberries, strawberries, citrus fruits. The use of phytopreparations of all cereal herbs is not recommended.

10. Mix of fish allergens (cod, salmon / salmon, herring, mackerel, flounder). Fish allergens are food allergens Fish allergens have been found to be resistant to heat, but canning or freeze drying (vacuum, low temperature) can reduce the allergenic properties of fish products. Smoking, on the other hand, increases their allergenicity.If you are allergic to these fish, cross-allergic reactions to other types of fish, seafood (squid, crabs, mussels, shrimps, fish caviar, etc.) are possible.

11. Potatoes. There are many allergens in potatoes, including those belonging to the profilin family. The main allergens are patatin and tuberin. In addition, the composition contains proteins – inhibitors of cysteine ​​and aspartate proteases and cathepsin D, belonging to the soybean trypsin family. Heat treatment practically does not reduce the allergenicity of potatoes.Potato flour and starch are usually free of allergens. Cross-reactions to the pollen of apple, birch, alder, as well as to substances that make up the vegetables of the nightshade family (eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.) are not excluded.

12. Egg white is an obligate allergen. Allergenic properties are especially pronounced when consumed raw. Egg allergens are ovomucoid, ovalbumin, conalbumin and lysozyme. The allergenicity of the protein of boiled eggs is less, but it persists, especially since the ovomucoid is resistant to heat.Egg white antigens do not have species specificity, it is not possible to replace chicken eggs with duck, goose or turkey eggs, since a painful reaction also occurs to their allergens. Often, an allergy to chicken egg protein is combined with an allergy to chicken meat and broth. If you are allergic to egg white, you cannot be vaccinated, since to obtain vaccines, they use the cultivation of cultures of viruses (which serve as the basis of the vaccine) on chicken embryos.

13. Gluten is a special vegetable protein with binding properties.Mainly cereals contain it: wheat, rye, oats, barley. Patients with gluten allergies should avoid gluten-containing foods from their diet. These are wheat, rye, barley, oats and cereals made from them (semolina, oatmeal, pearl barley, wheat, barley, any kind, oatmeal), confectionery, sweets, caramel, dragee, chocolate, bread. In addition, gluten is often found in sausages, sausages, minced meat, dairy products and ice cream, in the manufacturing process of which stabilizers and starch are used, alcoholic beverages made from cereals, etc.Possible cross-allergic reaction to pollen of cereal grasses (wheatgrass, timothy grass, bonfire, hedgehog, rye grass, foxtail, rye, etc.)

14. Common mosquito. Mosquitoes of the Culicidae family are one of the most numerous in terms of the number of species among all bloodsucking ones. They appear very early and the mass flight of mosquitoes begins in the second half of May – early June.
The main mosquito allergen is its saliva, which enters the human body through the bite of this insect.It is the saliva of the mosquito that causes itching, swelling, redness at the site of the bite, and in some cases, a severe allergic reaction. In addition, with a mosquito bite, it is possible for a person to enter the human body and its waste products, which can also cause an increased sensitivity of the body to these antigens.

15. Dermatophagoides pteronysinus is a feather dermatophage mite. The main habitat of this tick is bed. It is in the bed (mattress, feather bed, pillows, blankets, bed linen) where 2/3 of mites are concentrated, about 20% live in upholstered furniture and even less in carpets.The main allergen of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus is a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 25-30 kDa.

16. Dermatophagoides farinae – flour dermatophage mite.
House dust mites are very small (0.1-0.5 mm) and cannot be seen with the naked eye. One gram of house dust can contain from hundreds to several thousand mites. They don’t sting, bite or scratch, and don’t even carry infections. Having risen into the air, these allergens do not settle for a long time, and when inhaled, they enter the respiratory tract of a person.

17. Aspergillus fumigatus is a heat-resistant fungus with worldwide distribution. Due to its rather wide temperature range for good growth, it is not limited to habitats with consistently high temperatures. This fungus is found in soil, leaves and plant debris, rotting vegetables and roots, bird droppings, tobacco, sweet potatoes, spoiled foods, organic waste. Reproduction of the fungus occurs by the formation of spores that spread through the air. Their concentration, for obvious reasons, is relatively high in the immediate vicinity of the place of growth of the fungus.Indoors, more spores are found on the ground floors of buildings, in bathrooms, in the ground of houseplants, bird cages and air conditioners. Inhalation of spores and mycelium of Aspergillus fumigatus can lead to serious diseases such as bronchial asthma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, with the involvement of specific IgE antibodies. This mold can also cause allergic alveolitis (hypersensitivity pneumonia), farmer’s lung diseases, invasive aspergillosis and aspergillomas.

18. Household dust contains a complex of allergens (fragments of feathers, wool and animal dander, wool fibers, human epidermis hair, mold spores and bacteria, insect particles, and so on). House dust is a strong allergen. The determination of specific IgE allows one-time screening for allergies to a mixture (mixed) of house dust allergens.

19. Boiled milk. It is safer than whole, since most proteins are thermolabile and lose their properties when boiled.In the event of an allergic reaction to boiled milk, casein is the main allergen.

20. Goat’s milk is less allergenic than cow’s milk, and often if you are allergic to cow’s milk, goat’s milk can be a good substitute. However, it contains 3-4% proteins in its composition, which can also play the role of allergens. They partly lose their allergenic properties after boiling and curdling, but even in minimal quantities they can cause an allergic reaction.Allergy to goat milk can occur at any age and with different manifestations. However, young children are most likely to experience allergic reactions to goat’s milk. less allergenic than cow’s milk, and often if you are allergic to cow’s milk, goat’s milk can be a good substitute. However, it contains 3-4% proteins in its composition, which can also play the role of allergens. They partly lose their allergenic properties after boiling and curdling, but even in minimal quantities they can cause an allergic reaction.Allergy to goat milk can occur at any age and with different manifestations. However, young children are most likely to experience allergic reactions to goat’s milk.

A more detailed description of each of the allergens of this panel is presented on the website in the sections “Food allergens”, “Tick allergens”, “Allergens panels”, “Animal and bird allergens”, “Fungi and mold allergens”, “Insect allergens and their poisons “,” Dust allergens “.

Indications for the appointment of this study:

  1. If necessary, a comprehensive screening examination in order to identify significant allergens if allergies are suspected.
  2. Children – if their parents suffer from allergic diseases.
  3. If necessary, assess the risk of developing allergic reactions to various allergens.
  4. If it is necessary to diagnose allergic diseases (food allergy, atopic dermatitis, bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, respiratory allergy).

1. Kishkun A. A. Immunological studies and methods of diagnosis of infectious diseases in clinical practice.- M .: LLC “Medical Information Agency”, 2009.
2. Vorontsov IM, Motalygina OA Diseases associated with food allergy. – L .: Medicine, 1986.
3. Allergology and immunology. National leadership / Ed. R.M. Khaitova, N.I. Ilyina. – M .: GEOTAR-Media, 2009.

How does skin allergy manifest?

Some changes in the skin may be a manifestation of an allergic reaction. Rashes after eating, itching from mosquito bites – there are many variations in symptoms.We will tell you what to do with it.

allergy sufferers on average have skin manifestations of allergy, and in childhood – in 50–66% ¹.

They can occur on almost any irritant, but usually insect venom or drugs2 are the culprit. Food allergies can also cause skin changes³. And the symptoms quite often combine external and internal reactions. Thus, in 31–33% of children with bronchial asthma, signs of atopic dermatitis are noted in the course of the disease.

How to understand that unpleasant external symptoms are just an allergy? Usually, the so-called primary morphological elements appear on the skin – blisters, papules, etc.

They are accompanied by redness and swelling. At the same time, for some diseases, itching is a characteristic symptom (for example, dermatitis and urticaria), while for others – pain, burning sensation and a feeling of tightness (erythema and some allergic syndromes) ¹ .

Depending on the prevalence of the process, several forms of the disease are distinguished (this classification is applicable for atopic dermatitis). The first is localized lesions that do not exceed 10% of the skin. They usually appear on the skin of the hands, face and neck ¹ . The next severity form is a common allergic process, when the lesion is 10-50% of the skin surface and affects the limbs, back, chest ¹ . And with a diffuse form, the lesion area is already more than 50% of the skin ¹ .

It is interesting that psychosomatics can affect the skin manifestations of allergy. So, for some people, before a difficult exam or interview, their hands or eyes begin to itch.

Negative emotions can really lead to the development of hypersensitization – increased sensitivity of the body to the allergen⁵. A number of studies confirm that skin allergic manifestations are often associated with neurotic disorders⁵, ⁶.

The complexity of the treatment of skin manifestations arises already at the stage of diagnosis.The fact is that it is first necessary to understand what caused the reaction in general. It is important for a doctor not to confuse allergies with many other diseases: dermatitis, shingles, eczema, and so on ¹ .

Treatment of allergies with skin manifestations should be comprehensive⁷. Compliance with a hypoallergenic regimen plays an important role. It includes limiting the intake of airborne allergens and pollutants into the home. It is also necessary to follow a hypoallergenic diet – this significantly improves the prognosis and outcome of the disease8.External therapy is required to relieve itching, prevent secondary infection, moisturize, control skin inflammation and stimulate skin healing1. For this, emollients and nourishing agents, external corticosteroids, and sometimes (with the addition of a secondary infection) and antibacterial medicines are used, since the affected skin is more susceptible to the action of pathogens ¹ . The complex therapy of systemic agents includes antihistamines, detoxification and sedative drugs.

Antihistamines are classified into first and second generation drugs. The preference is usually given to second-generation products due to the more favorable safety profile⁹. For more information on antihistamines, see article How to choose an antihistamine .

Skin allergies are one of the most common manifestations of atopy, especially in children. If you suspect an allergic reaction, you should consult a doctor, because these are not just unpleasant symptoms, but a disease!

Text: Zoya Andreeva

Illustrations: Nina Magradze

How to recognize an allergy?

The concept of “allergy” was proposed in 1906 by the Austrian pediatrician Clemens von Pirke to determine the state of altered reactions of the body to the effects of various substances.The term “allergy” comes from the Greek words: “allos” – another and “ergos” – action, and literally means “action in a different way”, that is, an unusual reaction of the body.

At present, allergy is understood as a state of a pathologically increased reaction of the body – hypersensitivity – to a particular substance (allergen), which develops upon repeated exposure. In this case, the immune response in case of allergies is accompanied by damage to the body’s own cells and tissues.

According to the estimates of the World Health Organization, every third inhabitant of the planet suffers from some form of allergy.Experts state an increase in the incidence of allergies; over the past 30 years, during each decade, the number of allergy sufferers around the world has doubled.

Scientists have not come to a consensus about what is associated with the “epidemic” of allergic diseases in recent decades. According to one theory, scientific and technological progress contributes to the growth in the number of allergy sufferers, or rather, the accompanying environmental pollution with toxic industrial waste, inevitable human contact with synthetic substances – food dyes and preservatives, medicines, household chemicals, etc.e. These factors affect many processes in the body, including the subtle mechanisms of regulation of immune responses. Violation of immune reactions leads to the fact that more and more people react painfully to completely harmless to the body effects (pollen of plants, animal hair, household dust), take drugs for allergies, and cannot actively resist really harmful agents (viruses, bacteria, protozoa and etc.).

Today, more than 200 thousand allergens are known, which can be divided into groups depending on the route of entry into the body.This list contains only the most common provocateurs of allergic reactions.

Inhalation allergens (respiratory, enter the body through the respiratory system): household (dust, house dust mites, fish food), epidermal (particles of the epidermis, animal hair, feathers and down of birds, epidermis and human hair), pollen (pollen and trees, cereals, weeds), chemical products (paints, synthetic materials, pesticides), medicines, insect particles.Enteric allergens (enter the body through the digestive system): food products (fish and seafood, milk, nuts, eggs, bee products), food additives (preservatives, emulsifiers, dyes), dietary supplements, insect secretions that enter food. Parenteral allergens (enter the body not through the gastrointestinal tract, but, for example, by injection or through insect bites): serum, insect venom when stung, chemical products, saliva of blood-sucking insects when bitten.Contact allergens: components of washing powders and other household chemicals, components of cosmetics and perfumes, latex, insecticides and herbicides, compounds of nickel, chromium, platinum in jewelry, paints and varnishes, medicines for external use, herbal poisons. Infectious allergens: bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites and their metabolic products.

The manifestations of allergic reactions are diverse – from mild itching to life-threatening conditions such as anaphylactic shock or Quincke’s edema.The clinical picture depends on the way the allergen enters the body, the mechanism of the immune response, as well as the damage to target organs. The most common allergic diseases occurring with damage to the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract: allergic rhinitis, hay fever. Allergic inflammation can develop on other mucous membranes, as well as on the skin: in these cases, allergic conjunctivitis, allergic and contact dermatitis, urticaria, Quincke’s edema, skin lesions with food and drug allergies develop.

Success in the treatment of allergies depends not only on the intake of antiallergic drugs, but also on how effectively contact with the allergen is avoided. Now we know that almost any substance (at least of a protein nature) can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Therefore, it is extremely important to correctly identify allergens to which there is an increased sensitivity (so-called “sensitization”) of the body of a particular person.

Allergy diagnostics is of great practical importance.The first question to be answered is whether the symptoms of the disease are actually due to a true allergic reaction. In the acute period of allergy, this knowledge does not affect the tactics of treatment, however, preventive measures will differ.

The first stage of diagnosis is a thorough collection of anamnesis by the doctor, i.e. clarification of the conditions in which signs of allergy, predisposing factors, heredity, etc. have developed. It is also important to assess the elements of the rash if there are skin manifestations, because many skin diseases, helminthic invasions and systemic diseases can be masked under allergies.

The second stage of modern diagnostics is laboratory. According to the blood test, the actual allergens are determined, the so-called specific immunoglobulins E, which the body produces in response to the intake of the allergen. By examining the level of immunoglobulins E in the blood, it can be concluded that there is sensitization of the body as a whole (if the total immunoglobulin E is being examined, that is, its total amount) or to specific allergens (allergological panels).

To study the level of immunoglobulins E, venous blood is used.Modern test systems make it possible to study specific immunoglobulins E for dozens of allergens. A huge advantage of this method is that the examination can be carried out in the midst of an allergic reaction, without waiting for remission.

Allergy is a disease that can be cured! If you have signs of allergies, do not delay the visit to the doctor. With timely diagnosis, treatment will be quick and less costly than with a chronic disease.

Allergology and Immunology in Orel


Allergy is an organism’s overreaction to the influence of certain external factors and irritants, which are perceived by it as potentially dangerous.

The immune response to any antigens that invade the body is very complex and includes the production of antibodies, which are a kind of defenders of the body. However, there are situations when the immune system “loses control” and begins to perceive a completely harmless antigen as dangerous. It is at such moments that hyperreaction is triggered, which manifests itself in the form of an allergy.

Immunity is endowed with a wonderful memory, therefore, if the first contact of the body with a foreign substance has occurred and the mechanism for the production of antibodies to neutralize antigens has been launched, then this process (allergy) will be repeated with each new encounter with this antigen (allergen).

Almost any substance can potentially cause the development of allergies, as well as certain physical factors, such as, for example: low air temperature or exposure to sunlight. Irritants that provoke allergies, depending on the origin, are divided into several groups:

– food;

– pollen;

– household;

– medicinal;

– epidermal (allergy to the external components of animals: wool, dandruff, claws, feathers, and so on)

– fungal and bacterial;

– chemical;

– other allergens.

All of the above substances become allergens only if there is a malfunction in the immune system, otherwise they do not cause allergies.

There are several main risk factors for allergies:

– Genetic predisposition. Researchers’ estimates indicate that if one of the parents has an overreaction, then the child will be allergic with a 30% probability.This data is doubled if both parents are allergic;

– Smoking;

– Problems with the upper respiratory tract. Various infections of the respiratory tract and colds are allergy-provoking factors, which is explained by the fact that viruses, damaging the mucous membrane, facilitate the penetration of allergens into the body.


Allergy is an unusual sensitivity to various substances that do not cause painful reactions in most people.The essence of why some people have allergies, while others do not, lies in the peculiarities of the functioning of the immune system of each person.

Immunity is a term that characterizes the body’s ability to recognize and destroy everything that is perceived by the human immune system as “alien”, and therefore harmful to health. Such enemies can be viruses that cause flu and childhood infections, such as chickenpox and other diseases, as well as bacteria – the cause of sore throats, pneumonia, etc.etc., poisons, mushrooms. For some people, the enemies around us become house dust, pollen, mold, certain types of food, etc. Then these agents become allergens and the person becomes allergic. In response to such interference, our body produces protective antibody proteins that attack and neutralize these hostile elements.

If you once inhaled, swallowed or touched such allergens, the defense system takes action: it remembers them and produces specific IgE antibodies.This step is called sensitization . On repeated contact with these same allergens, antibodies attach to a special type of cell called mast cells, which are found in the airways, gastrointestinal tract, and skin. Attached antibodies cause mast cells in places of contact with the allergen to secrete various substances, the main of which is histamine. Some of these substances neutralize enemies, while excess histamine leads to tissue changes that cause allergy symptoms.For example, dilation of blood vessels leads to inflammation and swelling, which is manifested by a runny nose, sneezing, itching in the nose and eyes, watery eyes, etc. This type of allergy is called atopy , and all diseases arising in response to exposure to these allergens are atopic . The predisposition to atopy is almost always inherited. Although in the same family, both “atopics” and healthy children can be born. It is interesting that in the future, these healthy children already have their children suffering from atopy.

Unfortunately, in people with allergies, antibodies are produced and interact with substances that are not dangerous for healthy people, such as pollen, house dust, mold. This is why the house dust your son breathes in triggers the production of antibodies in his immune system. These antibodies “sit” on the cells of the respiratory tract and, as a result of the release of histamine and other substances, cause allergy symptoms that interfere with sleep, study, reading, play, and sports.

What can cause allergies?

In most cases, allergies arise from contact with pollen from trees, grasses, fungi, microorganisms, mold, certain foods, animal dandruff, house dust mites, and insect bites.Other factors such as strong odors, colds, exercise, cold air, or even emotions can trigger a reaction similar to an allergic one, but caused by increased sensitivity (hyperreactivity). In other words, if you have asthma caused by, for example, a house dust mite, then while exercising in the open air, where there are no mites, you may develop an asthma attack triggered by intense exercise.

It is important to understand the difference between an irritant and an allergen.Such irritants, which can cause a nonspecific reaction, similar to an allergic one, can be paint fumes, aerosol deodorants, tobacco smoke and many other agents. Therefore, when creating hypoallergenic conditions, it is important to pay attention to them and avoid them if possible.

What is hay fever or hay fever?

This term was coined in 1819 by the English physician John Vostok, who every year at the same time in the summer during the hay harvesting, the same symptoms appeared: sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes.Hay fever is not an entirely correct term, since, firstly, with this disease there is almost never a fever (fever), and secondly, hay is not the only cause of such symptoms. In fact, hay fever is a common term, which in everyday life is called seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever (from the Greek pollen – pollen). It manifests itself as sneezing, watery nasal discharge (“run out of the nose”), often by attacks of suffocation, lacrimation, itching, and sometimes swelling of the eyes, unpleasant painful sensations in the mouth and throat.Allergic rhinitis is caused by wind-blown pollen from trees, various ear-bearing grasses and weeds, as well as mold spores that are present in the atmosphere at certain times of the year.

What is asthma?

This question is not easy to answer. Asthma can be considered as a group of symptoms that include difficulty breathing or choking, wheezing, coughing. The reason for these symptoms lies in the spasm of the smooth muscles of the bronchi, in the increased production of mucus – sputum, in the swelling of the bronchial mucosa and, as a result, in the narrowing of the airways, as a result of which the movement of air into and out of the lungs becomes difficult.The main symptom of bronchial asthma – difficulty breathing – is a direct consequence of the compression of the smooth muscles of the bronchi, which entails other structural changes. However, this condition is reversible with proper treatment.

Asthma can be allergic . In this case, asthma attacks occur in response to exposure to certain allergens – house dust mites, pollen, certain foods, and mold. Many people have asthma combined with allergic rhinitis.With the development of asthma, the respiratory tract becomes very sensitive to the effects of not only allergens, but also other nonspecific irritants, such as cold air, strong odors, tobacco smoke, physical activity, etc.

With non-allergic asthma , no connection with exposure to allergens can be traced. In these patients, the disease is usually more severe and requires constant medication.

In all cases, preventive measures will not only not harm patients with asthma, but will also help to improve the condition, which is confirmed by numerous studies.

Why is atopic dermatitis dangerous? What is the “atopic march”?

Atopic March ” is a consistent expansion of the range of allergic diseases in a child with age. That is, atopic dermatitis can serve as the initial stage for the development of a systemic allergic disease: first, the upper respiratory tract (allergic rhinitis, laryngitis, adenoiditis), and then the lower respiratory tract (allergic bronchitis, bronchial asthma).So, 50% of children with atopic dermatitis subsequently develop bronchial asthma. By controlling the course of atopic dermatitis, doctors try to prevent the “atopic march” and the development of bronchial asthma.

The task of the parents is not to miss the moment and “seize” the disease at the very beginning of its appearance.

What is urticaria?

Urticaria (from Lat. Urtica – nettle) – the appearance on the skin of blisters of various sizes, similar to rashes after a nettle burn, which are accompanied by itching.In children, urticaria is often a symptom of food allergy and is acute, i.e. occurs within a few minutes after eating an allergenic product and lasts no more than 6 weeks. Also, allergic urticaria can occur with drug allergies, with allergies to the venom of stinging insects (bees, wasps, hornets), etc. Chronic urticaria, as a rule, is non-allergic, ie. occurs regardless of exposure to allergens. The causes of chronic urticaria can be concomitant diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, chronic infections.In such cases, we strongly recommend that you undergo a comprehensive examination by specialist doctors in order to identify and treat the underlying disease.

There are also other types of urticaria: cold, mechanical, contact, cholinergic, etc.

In many patients, urticaria is accompanied by Quincke’s edema , which can be localized in the face and affect the lips, eyelids, and in some cases the larynx. Then there is difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness of voice and asphyxia (suffocation) may develop due to the complete closure of the airways.

What is childhood eczema or atopic dermatitis?

Many children in the 1st year of life develop infantile eczema , or atopic dermatitis . The skin becomes dry, redness, rashes, peeling, cracks, weeping appear, an infection may join. Because of the intolerable itching, children lose peace, sleep poorly, and often cry. At this age, lesions are localized on the skin of the cheeks, forehead, in the area of ​​the extensor and flexion surfaces of the joints, neck and scalp.Previously, this disease was called exudative diathesis. The most common cause of childhood eczema is food allergy to cow’s milk and chicken egg white, which develops after the introduction of complementary foods or after transfer to artificial feeding. Nursing mothers should remember that when such symptoms appear in newborn babies, they themselves need to follow a strict diet and exclude various allergenic foods from their diet.

Children’s eczema can develop against the background of lactase deficiency (deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the sugar in cow’s milk).If you do not see a doctor for help in time, a child’s eczema can spread to the skin of the whole body and become chronic.

In children with a hereditary predisposition to allergies, the disease often becomes their unhappy companion for the rest of their lives and can subsequently be combined with rhinitis and asthma.

What is food allergy?

The term “ food allergy ” is often associated with the appearance of skin rashes and itching, which may not be associated with the use of food, and, accordingly, with a food allergy.True food allergies are not so common: in 2% of adults and in 2-5% of children. Most often – (in 7-8% of cases) food allergy develops at a very early age – in the 1st year of life, and then there are a lot of problems associated with feeding babies, especially for those mothers who have little breast milk. What is food allergy? This is a state of increased sensitivity of the body to food, which occurs due to failures in the human immune system. In this case, there may be signs of acute urticaria, atonic dermatitis, various disorders of the digestive system: acute abdominal pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, stool disorders in the form of constipation or diarrhea, flatulence, etc.But the most formidable manifestation of food allergy is anaphylactic shock. It develops within seconds or minutes after eating an intolerable food such as shrimp or peanuts. In a patient, due to the massive release of histamine from mast cells in response to the allergen, blood pressure drops sharply, suffocation occurs, loss of consciousness occurs, there may be convulsions, redness and swelling of the face, and even involuntary urination and defecation, which, if untimely assistance is provided, can lead to death.In some people, more often in adults, food allergy can manifest itself in the form of allergic rhinitis, an attack of suffocation, persistent headaches – migraines. In children, the most common allergies are caused by cow’s milk, chicken eggs, soybeans, millet, peanuts, etc. For adults, allergenic products may be various nuts more often – peanuts, fish and seafood.

In contrast to true food allergy, in case of food intolerance, the immune system is not involved in the development of clinical symptoms, and the reasons for the development of such reactions are often associated with concomitant diseases that a person suffers from, for example, peptic ulcer, intestinal dysbiosis, with the presence of parasites, with inflamed gallstones. bladder and even with caries.

How is Allergy diagnosed?

Obviously, there are certain symptoms that we associate with allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes. For the doctor, they are the first clue to the diagnosis. However, there are many other diseases that have similar manifestations. That is why, in the event of such symptoms, it is imperative to consult a doctor.

Before making a diagnosis, the doctor should analyze your life, habits, dietary habits, work.After you tell the doctor about your complaints, he will ask you many questions to find out what, where, when and how happened to you. For example, if you start to sneeze and breathe whistling while cleaning the apartment or when you knock carpets outside, then there is a high probability that you are allergic to house dust. If you sneeze and your eyes are watery after your daughter has a kitten, it seems that you are developing an allergy to cats, or rather to their dandruff.

In addition to questioning, the doctor has several more accurate and objective methods to confirm the diagnosis.

Skin tests – one of the most informative diagnostic tests for allergies. The essence of the method is that droplets containing allergens are applied to the skin of the forearm or back: house dust, pollen, mold, etc. Then, at the locations of the droplets, the skin is pierced in such a way that the solution with the allergen penetrates the skin. This is a prick test. A similar test, called a scarification test, differs from the prick test in that, instead of piercing, notches are applied to the skin.If the patient is allergic to any substance, then in either case, redness and swelling form in the place where the allergen is present. The reaction develops within 15 minutes. The intensity of the reaction at the site of the allergen application shows how sensitive you are to this substance. However, these results are only used by the physician to confirm a preliminary diagnosis. It is possible that there is a skin reaction to the allergen, but there are no clinical manifestations. This means that no symptoms of the disease develop upon contact with this allergen.

Along with skin tests, there is another way to diagnose allergies, based on the study of a blood sample. Since these samples are analyzed in a laboratory, they are called “in vitro” (in vitro) methods.

Laboratory test can determine the amount of specific (that is, corresponding to a specific allergen key) antibodies-locks present in the blood, on the basis of which the doctor can draw a conclusion about how strongly your body reacts to each specific allergen, from mold in the bathroom to dust in the vacuum cleaner.

Currently, a blood test is usually used for the following category of patients:

  • if the patient is afraid of having a skin test;
  • if there is a risk of a severe skin reaction to a skin test;
  • if the patient is taking antihistamines and certain other medications that may affect the accuracy of the test;
  • if the patient has severe skin problems;
  • if the patient is a small child under 3 years of age.

The doctor must explain the possibilities, advantages and cost of the diagnostic method chosen by him in relation to you and your case.

You must understand that an accurate diagnosis of your allergic condition is very important for choosing the most effective treatment regimen. Remember that you cannot fix problems without knowing the cause. Medication can reduce symptoms, and creating a hypoallergenic condition can provide some relief as well.

How to treat Allergy?

Each person is individual, it is characterized by a certain intensity of symptoms and the severity of the disease, which is extremely important for the choice of treatment tactics.When prescribing a set of therapeutic measures, your doctor should warn you about the possible side effects of drugs or injected allergens, minimize the inconvenience associated with treatment, and also tell you in detail about the causes of the disease and about the dangers and benefits of treatment.

Today in the world there are three main methods of treating allergic diseases :

1. Termination or reduction of contact with an allergen or irritant – the so-called elimination measures.

2. Use of medicinal products. Pharmaceutical companies manufacture a large number of anti-allergic drugs. First of all, these are antihistamines that can quickly and effectively suppress the clinical manifestations of any form of allergy or prevent their development. They are called antihistamines because they block histamine receptors. As a result, the action of histamine, the substance responsible for all clinical symptoms of allergy, stops.Therefore, antihistamines are used for seasonal allergies, for year-round rhinitis, for urticaria, for atopic dermatitis, and in general for any allergic diseases. They are available in the form of tablets, drops, syrups for oral administration, as well as ampouled solutions for injections. About 50 antihistamines of different groups are registered in Russia. Among them are drugs of the first generation, which, in addition to their main antiallergic action, also have a hypnotic effect.Therefore, they are effectively used in atopic dermatitis, the leading symptom of which is itching, which interferes with sleep. The drugs of the new generation do not cause drowsiness, do not reduce attention and performance, they need to be taken only once a day, so they can be used for any form of allergy and for a long time.
Corticosteroid hormones are more potent anti-allergic agents. They are used in the form of nasal sprays for severe forms of allergic rhinitis, in aerosol form in the form of inhalers for bronchial asthma, as well as in the form of tablets and solutions for injections in critically ill patients.For patients with bronchial asthma, modern inhaled bronchodilator drugs have been developed to relieve asthma attacks and for constant intake. They can be used with the help of special inhalers – nebulizers, which is especially convenient for children.
For patients with atonic dermatitis, an important link in the complex treatment is external therapy and skin care. Therefore, special ointments and creams containing corticosteroid hormones have been created for them.

3. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT), or injections with allergens.This is a fairly simple procedure. You receive a series of injections with allergens hostile to you (house dust, house dust mite, pollen, etc.) in a gradually increasing concentration, as a result of which your resistance to these allergens increases, just as as a result of vaccination against polio or smallpox you become immune to these infections.
If you are currently taking medications or undergoing ASIT, there is no doubt that an attempt to remove allergens from your “habitat” will only increase the effectiveness of your treatment and even help reduce the doses of your medications.

Creation of hypoallergenic conditions?
Do you keep your bedroom tidy?

This is the most important point in creating a hypoallergenic environment. You spend most of your life in the bedroom, and if you can clean it up, the result will not be long in coming. If allergy sufferers spend 8 hours a day in an allergen-free atmosphere, all body systems – lungs, respiratory tract, immune system – get a chance to rest and develop resistance so that they can go out into the outside world with renewed vigor the next day.Activities to be done at home:

  1. Place all mattresses in special anti-mite covers, preferably with a zipper. These covers can be purchased at specialty stores for allergy sufferers.
  2. Treat your bed, carpets, upholstered furniture with special compounds to kill mites – the so-called acaricides. For example, one such agent is milbiol. It can be purchased at pharmacies and specialty stores.
  3. Vacuum all mattresses, carpets and upholstery regularly.
  4. Check the humidity and use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep it below 40%.
  5. Try to install cooling at home, especially in the bedroom – an air conditioner can be especially useful in summer.
  6. Shower and wash your hair before bed to remove dandruff and flaky skin.

If you are tested to be hypersensitive to house dust mites, be sure to follow all precautions, especially related to handling your bed and keeping your bedroom clean.

Do you have any animals?

Animals that live even in the next apartment, not to mention their own, can cause an allergic reaction, so before you follow the lead of your young children and go to the bird market for a puppy, “measure seven times and cut once.” … By the way, the presence of aquarium fish, if only you use dry food for their pro-nutrition – daphnia, which is the strongest allergen, can also be destructive.


They can be a source of mold or insects. Check them out.

Do you have upholstered furniture?

Again, upholstered furniture can act as a dust collector, as well as a hideout for the dreaded house dust mites.

There are special preventive measures to minimize contact with an allergen or irritant. These measures must be followed regardless of your condition and the severity of the disease.

  • Remove all dust collecting items
  • Such items can be enumerated indefinitely. But it is important to remember that all objects with a flat surface have the property of attracting dust, regardless of whether it is a shelf cluttered with decorations or a book lying on a nightstand. The main principle is to avoid clutter! Therefore, all books should be stored in glazed bookcases, it is better not to store toys in the children’s room and not to cover the floors with carpets.
  • Clothes
    Store your clothes in the special zippered pouches.Place items such as shoes, sportswear in boxes or drawers to reduce the exposed area.
  • Scattered items
    Place all scattered items in their places: books, boxes, magazines, paper, toys – absolutely everything that lies around.
  • Carpets
    Old carpets create a lot of dust by breaking down the fibers. The ideal solution is to remove all carpets and replace carpets with wood or tile floors. If this is not possible, they should be regularly cleaned and vacuumed.
  • Curtains
    Sorry, no curtains and only light washable curtains in smooth materials such as cotton or synthetics. Conventional blinds are not recommended due to their dust-accumulating properties. In this case, roller blinds are ideal. It also makes sense to go shopping. Many shops targeting this consumer group, for example shops for allergy sufferers, may provide you with additional information.
  • Household chemicals
    Avoid contact with substances with strong odors such as deodorants, perfumes, naphthalene, insect repellants, etc.d.

Allergies: myths and reality

Allergy is considered a disease of the 21st century. Some allergic reactions can be found in the writings of doctors of the 1st century BC. Over the millennia, mankind has accumulated a certain amount of information about allergies, and sometimes we think that we already know everything about it. However, some of this knowledge is just myths, stories passed from mouth to mouth and lacking any scientific basis.


Myth number 1.

“25% of people think they have a food allergy.”

Clinical studies show that only 6% of children and 2% of adults are allergic to certain foods.

Myth number 2.

“Most allergy sufferers react to sweets, tomatoes and strawberries.”

An allergy can be to any product.For most adults, the main allergen is peanuts. In the United States, 100 people die each year from a generalized allergic reaction to peanuts.

Myth number 3.

Food allergy is not dangerous.

In the event of anaphylactic shock or Quincke’s edema, the count goes on for minutes. If you do not provide emergency medical care, as a result of bronchospasm, when air stops flowing into the lungs, the prognosis for the patient may be unfavorable.If you or your child have a food allergy, it is necessary to have Dexamethasone in ampoules in the medicine cabinet.

How does food allergy manifest itself?

The leading clinical manifestations of food allergy are:

Skin changes – 50-70% (rash)

Gastrointestinal manifestations – 30-60% (abdominal pain, changes in stool)

Respiratory syndrome – 20-30% (cough, runny nose, shortness of breath).

Isolated forms of food allergy are rare in young children. In most cases, food allergies are multiorgan in nature. This manifests itself in the form of constipation, rash in the perianal region, colic, abdominal pain, which leads to refusal to eat and, as a consequence, to weight loss and anemia.

Initial symptoms occur in the first weeks or even days of a child’s life. Most often, these symptoms are not specific enough and do not have the character of a certain pathology.These include: skin manifestations (redness, persistent diaper rash, rash). Gastrointestinal symptoms can be expressed by profuse regurgitation, colic, and constipation. At least 10-15% of infant colic cases are associated with food allergies. Refusal to take a product or worry about eating may also indicate an allergic reaction.

What is an allergen?

Foods that contain protein are causal allergens.

Major allergens in young children around the world:


1st place

2nd place

3rd place



Cow’s milk




Cow’s milk




Cow’s milk




Cow’s milk


The Big Eight allergens include: cow’s milk, chicken eggs, soy, peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, seafood and fish.It should be remembered that nuts include hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans. And peanuts belong to another group of plants – legumes. Other common allergens include: chocolate, strawberries, honey, animal and bird meat, and cereals. However, their causal role increases with age.

So, the main allergens in children under 3 years old are chicken eggs and cow’s milk protein.

The development of food allergies in children who are breastfed is due to excessive consumption by the mother during lactation of foods containing cow’s milk and egg protein, as well as foods with a high allergenic potential.Allergens are found in human milk 1-6 hours after they are consumed, regardless of whether the mother has an allergic disease. Normally, this has a physiological significance for the formation of food tolerance in a child. But in the presence of a genetic predisposition to allergies, this can lead to sensitization, i.e. accumulation of antibodies to this allergen and subsequently leads to the appearance of clinical symptoms of allergy.

So, if one or both parents in a family suffer from allergic diseases, a nursing woman needs to adhere to a hypoallergenic diet throughout the entire lactation period.

chicken eggs are highly allergenic, with not only protein, but also some proteins contained in the yolk. However, about half of children who are allergic to chicken eggs are able to tolerate small amounts of egg whites in intensively cooked foods (bread, biscuits). And among children over 5 years old who were allergic to chicken eggs, most have a tolerance to boiled eggs. Chicken egg allergy can be accompanied by cross-allergic reactions to the eggs of other birds and to chicken meat.

So, boiled eggs are less likely to cause allergic reactions in preschool children. And young children who are allergic to chicken eggs can eat foods containing intensely heat-treated egg white in small quantities.

Measles and mumps vaccines may contain trace chicken egg allergens due to the use of chicken embryos in production. This must be taken into account when vaccinating against these infections.The presence of a generalized allergic reaction to a chicken egg is an absolute contraindication for the use of these vaccines. In other cases, in the absence of a history of generalized allergic reactions to a chicken egg, the child can be vaccinated.

So, when vaccinating a child, it is necessary to consult a doctor-vaccinologist.

A true allergy to cow’s milk protein most often occurs in the first year of life, and in the further its prevalence decreases.Milk contains about 36 types of various proteins that can cause sensitization. The main milk allergens practically do not lose their biological activity during boiling, pasteurization, ultra-high temperature processing and drying. Milk of other animals, in particular goats, has pronounced allergenic properties. At the same time, goat milk can cause both crossover allergic reaction in patients with food allergy to cow’s milk protein, and it can be an independent allergen and cause severe allergic reactions.Far from cheap mixtures based on goat milk, so widely advertised everywhere, are used only in Russia, they are not sold in other countries … ..

What other allergens currently exist?

Often, the cause of the onset or exacerbation of various allergic diseases can be soy or products containing soy protein . Children who receive soy-based formulas are most affected.16 different allergens have been found in soybeans. In addition, soy contains phytoestrogens, which are considered a possible factor in obesity in modern people.

Peanuts (groundnuts) are actively used in the food industry and are classified as “hidden allergens”. After roasting and boiling, the allergenic properties of peanuts increase. Peanut allergy is one of the most common types of food hypersensitivity, characterized by severe reactions, including anaphylactic shock.The presence of allergy to peanuts is an unfavorable harbinger of the development of severe systemic diseases in the future.

Fish and seafood also cause the development of allergic reactions, including in young children. Saltwater fish are more allergenic than river fish. Some patients are allergic to only one type of fish, and they do not react to other varieties. But the composition of proteins of various fish species have an almost homologous structure, and this explains the presence of cross-allergic reactions to all types of fish in many patients.Characteristically, fish allergy does not decrease with age. Allergenic protein in some fish species can turn into steam during heat treatment, which explains the appearance of inhalation manifestations of allergy in sensitized patients. People who are allergic to seafood should take all the precautions they would take if they are allergic to fish. After all, even a small amount of shellfish can cause a violent allergic reaction, life-threatening, up to anaphylactic shock.

Animal meat. Allergic reactions to animal meat are rare. Most allergenic meat proteins lose their sensitizing ability after cooking and cooking.

What are cross-allergic reactions?

This is the development of an allergic reaction to other different foods, as well as the appearance of identical symptoms to food, pollen and epidermal allergens. This is due to the similarity of the structure (amino acid composition) of these allergens and is essential for patients with food allergies and hay fever, since these patients may develop cross-allergic reactions .For example, wormwood pollen triggers cross-allergic reactions to banana, avocado and melon. Birch pollen – for apples, pears, carrots, cherries, cherries, dill, walnuts, peaches, plums, potatoes, spinach, peanuts, celery, kiwi, cumin, coriander. Sunflower pollen – for sunflower oil, halva, mayonnaise, mustard. Down, feather – for meat and eggs of birds. Fungal allergens – to kefir, mold cheese, yeast dough products, kvass.

Thus, a hypoallergenic diet should be followed for nursing mothers with a history of allergies and children suffering from various types of allergic diseases.For the prevention of allergies, breastfeeding and the correct introduction of complementary foods to the child are very important.

What is a hypoallergenic diet?

This is diet N 5 GA, from which products with increased sensitizing activity, containing artificial food additives (dyes, emulsifiers, preservatives), as well as dishes with the properties of nonspecific gastrointestinal irritants are excluded. This diet provides for gentle cooking, while the dishes are steamed, boiled or baked.The temperature of the dishes should be 20 degrees C. The calorie content of a hypoallergenic diet corresponds to the physiological need.

Excluded: broths, spicy, salty, fried foods, smoked meats, sausages, liver, fish, caviar, seafood, eggs, spicy and processed cheeses, ice cream, mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, pepper, from vegetables – radish, radish, sorrel, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, sauerkraut, pickled and pickled cucumbers, as well as melon, watermelon, mushrooms, nuts, orange and red berries and fruits (citrus, strawberries, strawberries, raspberries, sea buckthorn, kiwi, pineapple, apricot, pomegranate, peach, grapes), refractory fats, margarine, carbonated fruit drinks, kvass, coffee, cocoa, jelly, honey, chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, candy, cakes, muffins, fresh baked goods, chewing gum.

Limited to: semolina, pasta, whole milk, sour cream (given only in meals), cottage cheese, yogurt with fruit additives, butter, high-grade flour bread, chickens, early vegetables (subject to mandatory preliminary soaking), carrots , turnips, beets, onions, garlic, cucumbers, fruit and berry salad – cherries, plums, black currants, banana, lingonberries, cranberries, rose hips.

Recommended: various cereals, except semolina, fermented milk drinks without fruit additives.mild cheeses, lean meat, specialized canned meat for baby food, vegetables – all types of cabbage, zucchini, squash, light pumpkin, parsley, dill, young green peas, fruits – green and white apples, pears, light cherries, plums , white currant, gooseberry. Juices from the listed fruits and berries (natural and canned for baby food) are given diluted by 1/3 of boiled water, tea without flavors. Allowed vegetable oil – olive, corn, sunflower, fructose, wheat bread of 2 grades or “Darnitskiy”, cereal bread, unsweetened corn rice sticks, simple drying.

If there is sensitization to pollen allergens, then the diet is prescribed taking into account the identified food allergy and taking into account cross-sensitization to pollen allergens. The flowering period during flowering of causal allergens is taken into account. A stricter hypoallergenic diet should be followed at this time of year. When a stable remission is achieved (6 to 12 months), the diet should be gradually expanded. Initially, the rotational principle can be applied – conditional allergenic foods are used in the diet once every 4 days.However, products such as chocolate, fish. coffee, cocoa, honey, peanuts, mushrooms, nuts, often lead to a recurrence of symptoms and should be excluded for a long time.

With prolonged exclusion of foods from the diet, there is a related deficiency of certain nutrients and vitamins.

Thus, a properly composed hypoallergenic diet is an important component in the complex therapy of an allergic disease, it allows to achieve reverse development, reduce the frequency of relapses, prevent the development of severe chronic forms of pathology, and improve the patient’s quality of life.