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What to do if you have allergies: 12 Natural Ways to Defeat Allergies in Pictures


12 Natural Ways to Defeat Allergies in Pictures


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American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

American Academy of Otolaryngology.

Brinkhaus, B. Annals of Internal Medicine, February 2013.


Chatzi, L. Thorax, August 2007.

Lee, D. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, April 2004.

Medical News Today.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Seasonal Allergies and Complementary Health Practices: What the Science Says.”

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health.

National Jewish Health.

Natural Therapeutics Comprehensive Database: “Allergic Rhinitis.”

Office of Dietary Supplements.

University of Maryland Medical Center.

University of Rochester Health Service.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Wilson, D. Phytotherapy Research, August 2010.

Xiu-Min Li, MD, professor of pediatrics; director, Center for Chinese Herbal Therapy for Allergy and Asthma, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud

Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud

Relieve seasonal allergies with these tried-and-true techniques.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Spring means flower buds and blooming trees — and if you’re one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other bothersome symptoms. Seasonal allergies — also called hay fever and allergic rhinitis — can make you miserable. But before you settle for plastic flowers and artificial turf, try these simple strategies to keep seasonal allergies under control.

Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers

To reduce your exposure to the things that trigger your allergy signs and symptoms (allergens):

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Don’t hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.

Take extra steps when pollen counts are high

Seasonal allergy signs and symptoms can flare up when there’s a lot of pollen in the air. These steps can help you reduce your exposure:

  • Check your local TV or radio station, your local newspaper, or the Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels.
  • If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
  • Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

Keep indoor air clean

There’s no miracle product that can eliminate all allergens from the air in your home, but these suggestions may help:

  • Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
  • If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
  • Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
  • Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
  • Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

Try an over-the-counter remedy

Several types of nonprescription medications can help ease allergy symptoms. They include:

  • Oral antihistamines. Antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching, a runny nose and watery eyes. Examples of oral antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy) and fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy).
  • Decongestants. Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol, others) can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Decongestants also come in nasal sprays, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine). Only use nasal decongestants for a few days in a row. Longer-term use of decongestant nasal sprays can actually worsen symptoms (rebound congestion).
  • Nasal spray. Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can ease allergy symptoms and doesn’t have serious side effects, though it’s most effective when you begin using it before your symptoms start.
  • Combination medications. Some allergy medications combine an antihistamine with a decongestant. Examples include loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D) and fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D).

Rinse your sinuses

Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution (nasal irrigation) is a quick, inexpensive and effective way to relieve nasal congestion. Rinsing directly flushes out mucus and allergens from your nose.

Look for a squeeze bottle or a neti pot — a small container with a spout designed for nasal rinsing — at your pharmacy or health food store. Use water that’s distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller to make up the saline irrigation solution. Also be sure to rinse the irrigation device after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water and leave open to air-dry.

Interested in alternative treatments? Consider these

A number of natural remedies have been used to treat hay fever symptoms. Treatments that may help include extracts of the shrub butterbur and spirulina (a type of dried algae). However, the benefits and safety aren’t clear.

Some people claim acupuncture can help with seasonal allergy symptoms. There’s some evidence that acupuncture works, and there’s little evidence of harm.

Talk to your doctor before trying alternative treatments.

When home remedies aren’t enough, see your doctor

For many people, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications is enough to ease symptoms. But if your seasonal allergies are still bothersome, don’t give up. A number of other treatments are available.

If you have bad seasonal allergies, your doctor may recommend that you have skin tests or blood tests to find out exactly what allergens trigger your symptoms. Testing can help determine what steps you need to take to avoid your specific triggers and identify which treatments are likely to work best for you.

For some people, allergy shots (allergen immunotherapy) can be a good option. Also known as desensitization, this treatment involves regular injections containing tiny amounts of the substances that cause your allergies. Over time, these injections reduce the immune system reaction that causes symptoms. For some allergies, treatment can be given as tablets under the tongue.


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April 16, 2020

Show references

  1. Outdoor allergens. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/outdoor-allergens. Accessed May 3, 2018.
  2. Allergy-friendly gardening. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergy-friendly-gardening. Accessed May 3, 2018.
  3. Indoor allergens. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/indoor-allergens. Accessed May 3, 2018.
  4. Allergies and hay fever. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/allergies-and-hay-fever. Accessed May 3, 2018.
  5. de Shazo RD, et al. Pharmacotherapy of allergic rhinitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 3, 2018.
  6. Seidman MD, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;152:S1.

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Allergies – Diagnosis and treatment


To evaluate whether you have an allergy, your doctor will likely:

  • Ask detailed questions about signs and symptoms
  • Perform a physical exam
  • Have you keep a detailed diary of symptoms and possible triggers

If you have a food allergy, your doctor will likely:

  • Ask you to keep a detailed diary of the foods you eat
  • Ask if you’ve stopped eating the suspected food during the allergy evaluation

Your doctor might also recommend one or both of the following tests. However, be aware that these allergy tests can be falsely positive or falsely negative.

  • Skin test. A doctor or nurse will prick your skin and expose you to small amounts of the proteins found in potential allergens. If you’re allergic, you’ll likely develop a raised bump (hive) at the test location on your skin.
  • Blood test. Specific IgE (sIgE) blood testing, commonly called radioallergosorbent test (RAST) or ImmunoCAP testing, measures the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream, known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory, where it can be tested for evidence of sensitivity to possible allergens.

If your doctor suspects your problems are caused by something other than an allergy, other tests might help identify — or rule out — other medical problems.


Allergy treatments include:

  • Allergen avoidance. Your doctor will help you take steps to identify and avoid your allergy triggers. This is generally the most important step in preventing allergic reactions and reducing symptoms.
  • Medications. Depending on your allergy, medications can help reduce your immune system reaction and ease symptoms. Your doctor might suggest over-the-counter or prescription medication in the form of pills or liquid, nasal sprays, or eyedrops.
  • Immunotherapy. For severe allergies or allergies not completely relieved by other treatment, your doctor might recommend allergen immunotherapy. This treatment involves a series of injections of purified allergen extracts, usually given over a period of a few years.

    Another form of immunotherapy is a tablet that’s placed under the tongue (sublingual) until it dissolves. Sublingual drugs are used to treat some pollen allergies.

  • Emergency epinephrine. If you have a severe allergy, you might need to carry an emergency epinephrine shot at all times. Given for severe allergic reactions, an epinephrine shot (Auvi-Q, EpiPen, others) can reduce symptoms until you get emergency treatment.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Some allergy symptoms improve with home treatment.

  • Sinus congestion and hay fever symptoms. These often improve with saline nasal irrigation — rinsing out the sinuses with a salt and water solution. You can use a neti pot or a specially designed squeeze bottle to flush out thickened mucus and irritants from your nose. However, improper use of a neti pot or other device can lead to infection.
  • Household airborne allergy symptoms. Reduce your exposure to dust mites or pet dander by frequently washing bedding and stuffed toys in hot water, maintaining low humidity, regularly using a vacuum with a fine filter such as a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and replacing carpeting with hard flooring.
  • Mold allergy symptoms. Reduce moisture in damp areas, such as your bath and kitchen, by using ventilation fans and dehumidifiers. Fix leaks inside and outside your home.

Alternative medicine

Clinical practice guidelines suggest that some people with allergic rhinitis may benefit from acupuncture.

Preparing for your appointment

For symptoms that could be caused by an allergy, see your family doctor or general practitioner. You might be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating allergies (allergist).

What you can do

Ask if you should stop taking allergy medications before your appointment, and for how long. For example, antihistamines can affect the results of an allergy skin test.

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to allergies, and when they began
  • Your family’s history of allergies and asthma, including specific types of allergies, if you know them
  • All medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Will I need allergy tests?
  • Should I see an allergy specialist?
  • What treatment do you recommend?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • What emergency symptoms should my friends and family be aware of?

Don’t hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:

  • Have you recently had a cold or other respiratory infection?
  • Are your symptoms worse at certain times of the day?
  • Does anything seem to improve or worsen your symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms worse in certain areas of your house or at work?
  • Do you have pets, and do they go into bedrooms?
  • Is there dampness or water damage in your home or workplace?
  • Do you smoke, or are you exposed to secondhand smoke or other pollutants?
  • What treatments have you tried so far? Have they helped?

Aug. 04, 2020

Show references

  1. Allergy overview. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. https://www.aafa.org/allergies.aspx. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  2. Allergic reactions. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergic-reactions. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  3. Seidman MD, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;152:S1.
  4. Allergies. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  5. Allergies and hay fever. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. https://www.entnet.org/node/1347. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  6. Anaphylaxis. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/anaphylaxis. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  7. Types of allergies. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. https://www.aafa.org/types-of-allergies/. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  8. Who has allergies? American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/who-has-allergies. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  9. What causes asthma? American Lung Association. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/asthma/asthma-symptoms-causes-risk-factors/what-causes-asthma. Accessed July 28, 2020.
  10. Is rinsing your sinuses with neti pots safe? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/rinsing-your-sinuses-neti-pots-safe. Accessed July 28, 2020.


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Seasonal Allergies (Hay Fever) (for Parents)

About Seasonal Allergies

“Achoo!” It’s your son’s third sneezing fit of the morning, and as you hand him another tissue you wonder if these cold-like symptoms — the sneezing, congestion, and runny nose — have something to do with the recent weather change. If he gets similar symptoms at the same time every year, you’re likely right: seasonal allergies are at work.

Seasonal allergies, sometimes called “hay fever” or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are allergy symptoms that happen during certain times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.

The immune systems of people who are allergic to mold spores or pollen treat these particles (called allergens) as invaders and release chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to defend against them. It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergy symptoms.

People can be allergic to one or more types of pollen or mold. The type someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. For example, in the mid-Atlantic states, tree pollination is February through May, grass pollen runs from May through June, and weed pollen is from August through October — so kids with these allergies are likely to have increased symptoms at those times. Mold spores tend to peak midsummer through the fall, depending on location.

Even kids who have never had seasonal allergies in years past can develop them. Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, though they usually develop by the time someone is 10 years old and reach their peak in the early twenties, with symptoms often disappearing later in adulthood.

Signs and Symptoms

If your child develops a “cold” at the same time every year, seasonal allergies might be to blame. Allergy symptoms, which usually come on suddenly and last as long as a person is exposed to the allergen, can include:

  • sneezing
  • itchy nose and/or throat
  • nasal congestion
  • clear, runny nose
  • coughing

These symptoms often come with itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, which is called allergic conjunctivitis. Kids who have wheezing and shortness of breath in addition to these symptoms might have allergies that trigger asthma.

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Seasonal allergies are fairly easy to identify because the pattern of symptoms returns from year to year following exposure to an allergen.

Talk with your doctor if you think your child might have allergies. The doctor will ask about symptoms and when they appear and, based on the answers and a physical exam, should be able to make a diagnosis. If not, the doctor may refer you to an allergist for blood tests or allergy skin tests.

To find an allergy’s cause, allergists usually do skin tests in one of two ways:

  1. A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is pricked with a small pricking device. If a child reacts to the allergen, the skin will swell a little in that area.
  2. A small amount of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn’t extremely painful. After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area appears (like a mosquito bite) at the injection site, the test is positive.

Even if a skin test or a blood test shows an allergy, a child must also have symptoms to be definitively diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a child who has a positive test for grass pollen and sneezes a lot while playing in the grass would be considered allergic to grass pollen.


There are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how severe the symptoms are. The most important part of treatment is knowing what allergens are at work. Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens that bother them.

If certain seasons cause symptoms, keep the windows closed, use air conditioning if possible, and stay indoors when pollen/mold/weed counts are high. It’s also a good idea for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothing after playing outside. 

If reducing exposure isn’t possible or is ineffective, medicines can help ease allergy symptoms. These may include decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal spray steroids. If symptoms can’t be managed with medicines, the doctor may recommend taking your child to an allergist or immunologist for evaluation for allergy shots (immunotherapy), which can help desensitize kids to specific allergens.

8 Tips for Surviving a Horrible Allergy Season – Allergy Center

This year, April really was the cruelest month for people with allergies — and the rest of spring is looking pretty mean too.

Blame a perfect storm of weather conditions for the season’s awful allergies, including a snowy, rainy winter in some parts of the country that led to an abundance of tree and grass pollen; a sudden shift from wintry to warm weather that encouraged the pollen’s release; and windy conditions that sent particles airborne, where they enter our noses, throats, and eyes and trigger symptoms that range from congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes to headaches, diarrhea, and even depression.

Indeed, pollen and mold spore counts hit all-time highs in certain parts of the country, making people prone to seasonal allergies even more miserable than usual, and even setting off allergies in people who usually don’t get them. “It’s been a difficult and intense spring for people with allergies,” says Mitchell R. Lester, MD, president of the New England Society of Allergy.

The five worst cities for allergies this spring are Knoxville, Tenn; Louisville, Ky; Charlotte, N.C.; Jackson, Miss., and Chattanooga, Tenn., according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, which uses an algorithm that includes airborne pollen and mold counts, and the number of allergy medications taken and allergy specialists available in each city.

Seasonal Allergies on the Rise

Aside from this season’s unique weather conditions, the incidence and severity of allergies (which are an overreaction of the immune system to harmless substances, like pollen or mold) seems to be increasing for other reasons too. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased substantially over the past 15 years; now 10 to 16 percent of U.S. adults are estimated to have allergies, which cost the healthcare system $18 billion annually.

There are no definitive answers as to why allergy rates are increasing. One theory is that climate change has gradually been making allergy season last longer, according to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Rising carbon dioxide levels allow things like ragweed, fungal spores, and poison ivy to thrive,” says Lewis Ziska, study author and a plant physiologist with the USDA’s crop system and global change laboratory.

Coping With Allergy Misery

So what can you do if allergies are hitting you harder than ever, or for the first time? Here, the best ways to survive the season:

  1. Determine if it’s really allergies. The sudden swing from cool to warm weather can make it hard to tell an allergic reaction from a cold or virus, particularly if you don’t usually get seasonal allergies. Neil L. Kao, MD, director of research at the Allergic Disease & Asthma Center in Greenville, S.C., says to suspect allergies if your congestion lasts for more than two weeks; if your eyes, nose, and the top of your mouth itch; if your mucus is thin and clear; or if your symptoms seem to get worse after you’re exposed to triggers, such as spending a day at the park or running outside. The absence of fever and aches is another clue it’s probably allergies and not a cold or other virus.
  2. Head to your drugstore for symptom relief. Your go-to meds may not work as well this year if your symptoms are worse, so you may need to experiment with other kinds, or use multiple drugs, to get relief. Over-the-counter decongestants will help relieve a stuffy nose; antihistamines can tackle sniffles and itching. If you take the indicated dosage and it doesn’t work, it may be that your individual metabolism is a mismatch for that particular medication. “Try switching to other brands and types until you find the right fit and combination,” says Dr. Kao. If you’re really suffering, see an allergist who can prescribe medications that are longer-acting and non-sedating. And if your allergies are severe, consider getting immunotherapy shots for long-term relief.
  3. Give salt water a go. Not a fan of the way many allergy meds make you feel tired and foggy? Try a saline nasal rinse (either with a neti pot or a spray), which helps clear allergens like pollen from your nasal membranes, minimizing symptoms. Gargling with salt water can soothe a sore or scratchy throat. Do this once or twice a day throughout allergy season to ease congestion.
  4. Kick off your shoes and work clothes as soon as you get home. Don’t drag allergens throughout your home, where they’ll continue to cause your symptoms to act up. Remove your shoes outside the door and throw your clothes in the hamper and change into something else. Shower at night to wash off any lingering pollen from your body and hair before you get into bed. Have a dog or outdoor cat? Wipe their paws and fur when they enter your home too, since pollen can cling to them.
  5. Take your workout indoors. Check pollen counts in the morning and try to stay indoors when they’re high. This may mean trading your daily neighborhood stroll for a treadmill at the gym or an exercise DVD in your living room. Pollen tends to be highest in the mid- to late-afternoon, so try to run errands first thing in the morning or after work instead of during your lunch break.
  6. Get window savvy. If you’re allergic to pollen, keep your windows closed and run an air conditioner. On the other hand, if you’re allergic to indoor allergies like mold and dust, throw the windows open and let in the fresh air, which can help clear allergens from your home.
  7. Wear a mask for outdoor chores. When you’re tending your garden or yard, a surgical mask can help minimize your exposure to pollen particles. Look for ones marked N95, which means they meet the standards of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health by filtering out 95 percent of particles.
  8. Take allergy symptoms seriously. You may brush off your nasal congestion or lingering headache as “just allergies,” but the truth is that allergy symptoms can take a big toll on your well-being. If you feel totally lousy, give in to your body: Rest, go to bed early, take a sick day. Overdoing it and running around when you feel awful will only make you feel worse.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Allergy Center.

What To Do During An Allergy Attack

Allergy attacks, or allergic reactions, can be frightening, sudden, and extremely uncomfortable. The reason behind why humans experience allergy symptoms and attacks is still being researched. However, we do know allergy symptoms are triggered when your immune system detects an “intruder,” whether that is pollen, mold, dust, dander, or something else. No matter why you experience allergy attacks, they’re inevitably unpleasant and can even be life- threatening. Be sure to seek out medical care immediately if you believe you’re having a severe allergic reaction. 

In order to keep yourself safe and healthy in the long run, it’s important to understand exactly what is happening to your body during an allergy attack, and what steps you can take to mitigate your symptoms. To get you started, we’ve compiled some helpful background information on allergies and instructions for what to do during an allergy attack.

What Is an Allergy Attack?

People have been asking why they have to suffer from allergies since they were first being affected by them. While we still aren’t quite sure what causes some people to experience allergic reactions, we do know what’s happening in the body during an allergy attack: it’s as if your immune system reacts to a false alarm in a severe way, and there’s no way for you to tell it that you aren’t actually in any danger. 

The purpose of the immune system is to recognize foreign invaders like bacteria and parasites in your environment. When those foreign bodies are detected, your body’s response is to attack the potentially harmful invaders by creating millions of antibodies—proteins that recognize and neutralize the threat. While creating these antibodies, the immune system is supposed to filter out the antibodies that attack the wrong targets, like your body or dust. But that isn’t always how it goes. When the antibodies react to non-threatening allergens, such as food or pollen, allergy attacks occur.  

Symptoms of an Allergy Attack

Because there are so many different types of allergies and potential allergens out there, your allergy symptoms may look very different from another person’s. For example, seasonal allergies (also known as hay fever) typically manifest as sneezing, postnasal drip, a stuffy or runny nose, and a sore throat. Allergies stemming from an insect sting or certain medication, on the other hand, can produce symptoms like swelling, itching, and hives. 

Mild allergic reactions are typically just uncomfortable. However, more severe allergic reactions to the same substances are possible. Everyone’s body is different, and what triggers no response or a mild reaction in one person could trigger a severe allergy attack in another. Bee stings, peanuts, and tree nuts are common causes of more serious allergic reactions.

Pay attention to your body, and watch for severe allergy symptoms like:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Flushed skin
  • Hives, rash
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing or breathing problems
  • Abnormal pulse
  • Swelling of the face, lips or throat
  • Trouble talking or swallowing

These are symptoms of serious allergic reactions. If you simply have a rash and itching, it is ok to start treatment at home with antihistamines such as Benadryl. If you have more than simple rash and itching, seek care as soon as possible. Anaphylaxis is defined as allergic symptoms in more than one body system and should be evaluated right away. If you are having a severe reaction with trouble breathing, trouble talking or swelling in the mouth, call 911.

Types of Allergies

An allergic reaction can happen when you ingest, touch, or inhale whatever you’re allergic to. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, just stepping out your front door could be a challenge, because you’ll inevitably be faced with puffy eyes and a runny nose. What’s more, is there may not be anything you can do about it. If both of your parents have allergies, you run a 60-70 percent chance of also having those allergies, and they may not even develop until later in your life. 

Let’s take a look at some types of these allergies that can cause an allergy attack. What causes an allergy attack depends on each person’s unique reaction to an invading substance. However, there are a number of common substances that cause allergic reactions:

  • Food: Eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat make up 90 percent of food allergies in the U.S.
  • Any medicine can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Insects: Venom from bee, wasp, hornet, yellow jacket stings, fire ants
  • Latex: Found in rubber gloves, balloons, rubber bands, condoms, and more
  • Other allergies: Pet dander, dust, mold, pollen, cockroaches, or even household items like laundry detergents, cosmetics, and hairspray

As you can see, allergies can stem from an incredibly vast number of triggers. Nearly anywhere you go could be chock-full of allergy triggers, so knowing how to treat or diminish symptoms when they occur could be the difference between muddling through and enjoying your day. Which would you prefer?

How You Can Treat Your Allergy Symptoms

When you feel ravaged by allergies, don’t lose all hope. There are a lot of things you can do to minimize the detrimental effects of mild to severe allergies. Whether that involves being armed with an Epinephrine pen, heading to your nearest Urgency Room, or treating your allergies at home with over-the-counter medications, knowing what to do when allergies strike could save you from discomfort or even life-threatening scenarios.

Employ At-Home Allergy Remedies

There are some simple and obvious approaches for avoiding or minimizing allergic reactions. First of all, you can try to avoid your allergens altogether. Symptoms for seasonal allergies can include a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, or itching. These types of allergies are mostly encountered outside. Checking your local weather station should tell you what the outdoor air quality is like in your specific area in terms of pollutants. There are resources, however, offered by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) that will also tell you your local pollen and mold report. By checking your immediate air quality reports, you can better prepare for going outdoors. 

If you’re very sensitive to outdoor or seasonal allergies, consider taking an antihistamine before heading outside. You may also find a saline rinse helpful in relieving hay fever symptoms. Lastly, minimize airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, in your home by switching out your old air filter for a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

How to Handle Anaphylactic Shock

More severe allergy attacks will not abate with home remedies, and it’s essential that you quickly recognize more serious symptoms, like abdominal cramps and breathing problems. What should you do in the case of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock? 

If you are alone, immediately call 911. Anaphylactic shock happens quickly, and your throat could swell and cut off your supply of oxygen within minutes, causing permanent and serious damage. If you know you are at risk for severe allergic reactions, always carry an Epinephrine pen, or two, with you at all times. Epinephrine quickly reduces and reverses anaphylactic symptoms as it’s comprised of adrenaline. You can never predict when a bee will sting you or a food you’re allergic to wind up on your plate, so take the appropriate steps to protect yourself. You should also make your close friends and family aware of your allergy, so that they can also be on the lookout for severe symptoms and be ready to take the appropriate steps if you’re unable to. 

Know What to Do When Allergies Strike

Allergens can sneak into your life on your daily walk, a plate of food, or anywhere in between. You might be born with them or develop them years down the line. Knowing what to do when you or someone you know is having an allergy attack could be the difference between life and death. 

When experiencing serious allergy symptoms, heading to your local Urgency Room could bring you relief faster than you thought possible. Our skilled and experienced emergency physicians and nurses are well trained to care for serious allergic reactions. At the UR, we treat the allergy symptoms. Treating and allergic reaction does not require any testing and we do not do allergy testing. We’re dedicated to helping you return to your healthy self as soon as possible. 

You don’t have to suffer through your allergies alone. Get the care you need now and the tools you need to avoid future allergy attacks. The Urgency Room operates three convenient Minnesota locations in Eagan, Vadnais Heights, and Woodbury. We’re open 365 days per year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., including holidays. When minutes matter, especially during an allergy attack, get to The Urgency Room.

Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center: Otolaryngology

More than 45 million Americans have allergies. You can have allergic reactions to several things, ranging from substances you breathe or touch to insect bites, foods, and medications. 

One of the most common types of allergy is allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. When you have allergic rhinitis, airborne allergens in your environment cause symptoms that include:

  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Watery eyes when sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Skin rashes, including hives or eczema
  • Headache and fatigue

The secret to managing your allergies lies in identifying what triggers your symptoms. At Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Wade Han and our team offer skin and blood tests for allergies at both of our Orlando and Kissimmee locations. Once we have this information, we can help keep your symptoms at bay year-round.

Seasonal versus perennial allergies

You can have seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis. If you have seasonal allergies, your issues typically worsen in the spring, summer, and early fall. And, even though it’s called hay fever, that’s rarely the cause. Season allergies are typically due to a sensitivity to mold spores or pollens from grasses, trees, and weeds in the area. One of the most common culprits of seasonal allergies is ragweed.

Perennial allergies, on the other hand, cause symptoms all year long. These symptoms often come from indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander or hair, cockroaches, and mold. Allergic rhinitis can also increase your sensitivity to irritants like cigarette smoke, perfumes, and other strong aromas.

You can have both seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. If you do, we can help you regain control so you can start enjoying life again — all year long. 

Identifying your triggers

Whether you have seasonal allergies or symptoms that last year-round, you don’t have to suffer. We offer two forms of allergy testing to determine the cause of your symptoms: skin testing and blood testing.

Skin testing

We use two kinds of skin tests to look for allergic reactions. The first is a skin prick test in our office, where we place tiny amounts of a potential allergen on your skin and gently prick the area. If your skin reacts, it confirms an allergy. The second skin test involves a patch. With this test, we place a patch on your skin containing a potential allergen. After wearing the patch for a few days, you return to our office and we look for signs of irritation.

Blood testing

A blood test for allergies involves collecting a blood sample. Then we look for specific antibodies that your immune system produces in response to allergens. After we diagnose your triggers, we develop a personalized treatment strategy to keep your symptoms under control.

Managing your allergy symptoms

The easiest way to control allergic rhinitis symptoms is to avoid your triggers, but we know that isn’t always an option. Another simple treatment involves using medications, like antihistamines, decongestants, and topical corticosteroids. But, if you have persistent allergies or can’t tolerate medication, we often recommend immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy involves slowly introducing the known allergen to your body so you can build a tolerance to it. We do this is in slow increments to avoid triggering an allergic response, starting with very small quantities. Over several months, we gradually increase the amount until you reach the allergic dose without reacting. Then, we switch to a maintenance dose. This treatment occurs less frequently, typically once a month, to maintain your tolerance and control your allergy symptoms.

We offer two different types of immunotherapy: injections in our office and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) taken under the tongue at home. Each of these approaches is equally effective, but SLIT can be more convenient because it requires fewer office visits and often costs less. SLIT is also safe enough to use on people with high allergic sensitivities, children, and those with asthma. In addition to treating allergic rhinitis with immunotherapy, we can also use it to help with chronic non-severe food allergies.

To start managing your allergies year-round, call us at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery or schedule an appointment online today.

90,000 Summer allergies – discussion of the problem with an allergist immunologist EuroMed

In the summer, allergy sufferers face their own dangers. Yulia Borisovna SELIKHOVA, Candidate of Medical Sciences, allergist-immunologist of EuroMed Clinic, tells us about the most common types of summer allergies – plant pollen and insect bites.

Pollen allergy

The source of pollen allergy (hay fever) in summer is cereals and weeds.This type of allergy differs little from the spring tree pollen allergy.


  • Allergic rhinitis (runny nose), itchy nose
  • Eye irritation and redness, lacrimation, edema
  • Sneezing
  • Cough unrelated to the common cold
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath

What to do

Pollen allergy prevention is about minimizing exposure to the allergen.That is, you should not go to places where there is a high concentration of pollen (forests, fields, gardens, vegetable gardens, squares), especially in the morning.

Clean your home regularly, use an air purifier, and keep windows and doors closed. It is recommended to ventilate the room during or immediately after rain. Shower and take off your street clothes after every street visit. The ideal solution is to change the climate zone for the period of the expected exacerbation.


When going out into the countryside, be sure to take an antihistamine with you, and in case of a previous allergy to insect bites – and more serious emergency medications that an allergist may recommend to you in advance.

Allergy to insect bites

In summer, the risk of insect bites is highest. Poisons, saliva and other insect secretions are strong allergens. Also, chitinous hairs, pieces of outer integument and insect excrement can cause an allergic reaction. Most often, an allergic reaction is caused by stings of bees, wasps, hornets, bumblebees, tropical ants. But there is also an allergy to the bites of midges, mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs and other insects.


  • Significant redness, swelling of the skin, itching at the site of the bite and on the surrounding tissues
  • Burning pain at the bite site
  • Itchy rash
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Rhinitis
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lowering blood pressure with impaired consciousness

What to do

Avoid places where wasps, bees, hornets can bite you – there are many more of them outside the city than in the city. Remember insects are attracted to flowering plants with a strong smell, as well as some perfume fragrances.

If you or your child has had an allergic reaction to insect bites, be especially careful, and at the first, most minor signs of an allergy, see a doctor. Remember that an allergic reaction to bites can lead to serious consequences such as Quincke’s edema and anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.Moreover, the reaction to bites increases over time – as the concentration of antibody titers to the poison increases in the body. That is, each subsequent bite will cause a more severe allergy. A reaction to a bite may appear immediately, or it may take a few minutes or even hours. Children tend to react more strongly to bites than adults.

Do you know that…

Three times more people die from an allergic reaction to insect bites in the world than from snake bites.


There are two ways to treat allergies. Symptomatic is aimed at alleviating the course of allergy during its exacerbation: an allergist may advise the use of saline solutions for nasal hygiene, nasal filters, nasal drugs that create a protective film on the mucous membrane, etc., antihistamines, glucocorticosteroids, antileukorienic drugs, blockers of mast cell activity, etc. Such drugs reduce the severity of symptoms, without affecting, however, the cause of the allergy.

A more radical treatment for allergies is ASIT (allergen-specific immunotherapy). This technique allows you to get rid of allergies for a long period of time, in some cases – forever. Its essence lies in the sequential introduction of increasing doses of the allergen, as a result of which the body’s sensitivity to it decreases.

Allergy to drugs – causes, symptoms, treatment

Surely the doctor has asked more than once about what drugs you are allergic to.This question is not asked out of idle curiosity, but because the reaction can occur to any drug – and it is unpredictable. Learn how a drug allergy develops and what to do if a drug allergy occurs.

of the world’s population¹ suffers from drug-
venous allergy, and most often
(in 65–75% of cases) it occurs
in women².

It is important to know that the reaction to the drug can be both immediate and delayed (read more about the types of allergic reactions here) ¹.In the first case, the symptoms are detected within an hour or a maximum of six hours after taking the medication, provided that the person has already encountered any component of this drug¹. And in the second case, the reaction appears long enough after taking the medicine, later than 6–72 hours¹.

The symptoms themselves also vary. With immediate allergies, urticaria, angioedema, rhinoconjunctivitis, bronchospasm (shortness of breath, wheezing), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anaphylaxis occur most often. Delayed allergy symptoms – various skin manifestations (rashes of varying severity) or a system-wide reaction (nephritis, hepatitis, cytopenia, and others) ¹.

The most common causes of allergies are antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ¹.

Penicillin leads the anti-rating among the first: up to 55% of cases of vein allergy are caused by its intake!

Allergic symptoms may depend not only on the type of drug, but also on the gender, age of the patient and many other factors¹. It also happens that the same drug causes different manifestations of allergies in the same person (for example, the first time allergy symptoms are limited to urticaria, after the next drug intake, Quincke’s edema begins) ³. In addition, the allergic reaction may depend on the route of administration of the drug.

Ointments and creams cause the development of allergic contact dermatitis and can lead to generalized rashes and Quincke’s edema³. This is the most allergenic route of drug administration³. The second place is shared by parenteral (intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous) and oral administration of medications³.

Skin manifestations of drug allergy should be distinguished from other health disorders manifested by skin symptoms: infectious diseases at an early stage (chickenpox, measles, etc.), psoriasis and some others. Sometimes allergies can be confused with herpetic skin lesions⁴. Allergic rhinitis has to be distinguished from rhinitis of other origin⁵.Anaphylactic reactions can be similar to other types of shock (eg, heart attack, acute cardiovascular failure) and panic attacks⁴.

  • Information on cases of allergic reactions to other substances and the presence of allergies in blood relatives is essential¹, ⁴.
  • It is important to clarify on which day of the drug intake the reaction started. Most drug allergies occur within the first two weeks of taking the drug.
  • What other medications, besides the suspect, is the person taking. Sometimes the patient blames the new antibiotic when in fact the other drug triggered the reaction⁶. Patients can forget about the dietary supplements, new cosmetics, etc. 3

All the questions necessary for a correct diagnosis will be asked by a specialist.

From laboratory methods, they use the determination of the level of blood immunoglobulins (antibodies to specific antigens (allergen)), conduct tests for the activation of basophils (these are cells involved in the development of allergies) and others⁴.If possible, do skin (scarification) tests¹ and provocative tests⁴.

Skin tests become indicative no earlier than four to six weeks after the allergy.

If you notice a reaction on the part of the body to all medications at once, then this may be a manifestation of chronic diseases that are not related to the immune system⁷. Although there are cases of multidrug allergy, when the body reacts to three or more drugs at once, then taking any of them can cause allergy symptoms¹.

First of all, you need to stop using the medicine⁴ and follow a hypoallergenic diet⁸. In general, treatment is carried out in accordance with the standards for the treatment of clinical manifestations, with the use of antihistamines, glucocorticosteroids⁸ and others⁴.

In life-threatening situations (anaphylaxis), if the reaction did not occur within the walls of a medical institution, you need to urgently call an ambulance.

It is important to remember that drug allergy can occur both in people with previous allergic reactions and in those who have never suffered from this ailment⁷.If you have any allergy symptoms, see your doctor immediately. A note about which drugs caused the allergy must be included in all available medical documents. You and your loved ones should remember the names of these remedies to prevent recurrence of allergic reactions, and in an emergency it can even save your life.

How to deal with allergies – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Modern medicine, unfortunately, cannot completely rid people of hay fever. However, there are ways to be more or less peaceful with him.

l To avoid cross-allergies, check with your doctor about your hidden enemies and dangerous foods.

l Install air purifiers in the apartment. If the family budget cannot withstand such a purchase, proceed in the old fashioned way: hang the windows with gauze, moisten it more often and change it every other day. Moisten the curtains in the morning and evening, place basins of water in the rooms.

l Do not dry things outside or on the balcony – pollen will settle on them.

l Perform wet cleaning in the apartment every day.

l Walk down the street only after rain, when the pollen is nailed to the ground. Back home, rinse your nose with warm water, shower and wash your hair.

l During flowering, discard hygiene products with plant extracts, even those labeled “hypoallergenic”.


What future parents need to know

Are you allergic but want to have a baby? Then try to reduce the risk of developing the disease in your baby. They say that heredity can be deceived if conception is planned correctly, and they advise those suffering from hay fever to acquire offspring in the fall or winter. However, jokingly or seriously – it is not known.

Breastfeed your baby for as long as possible. This reduces the risk of developing allergies

4 times, and sometimes completely prevent it.

Do not smoke at home!

In families where at least one person smokes, children are 5 times more likely to suffer from allergies.And any other diseases they have are more severe due to a decrease in immunity.

Be careful in home gardening

If an allergic person lives in the house, it is best not to breed ficuses, geraniums, begonia, ivy, jasmine, chrysanthemums and dieffenbachia. These plants can trigger allergy attacks. It is not worth decorating the apartment with compositions of dried flowers.

Try to laugh at the disease!

Japanese scientists believe that you can fight allergic diseases with the help of laughter and generally positive emotions. They conducted an experiment: for 87 minutes, one group of allergy sufferers was shown a film with Charlie Chaplin, and the other – boring episodes of the weather forecast. The results exceeded all expectations: for those who were amused by the comedian, the allergic rash significantly decreased. And for those studying weather forecasts, everything has remained unchanged.


Should you be afraid of pollen

This spring is early. This means that the plants will bloom and become dusty earlier than usual, and aggravation is not far off.

Check yourself: are you prone to allergies?

1. Do you have any of these symptoms in the spring or summer?

l lays nose

l “water” flows from the nose

l the wings of the nose itch

l too often and you sneeze a lot

l eyelids itch

l tears flow for no apparent reason

l eyes blush

l tickles in the throat, I want to cough up

l it is sometimes difficult to breathe

If you answered “yes” to any of these items, go to the second question.

2 . When do these symptoms appear?

l they do not leave me all year

l they bother me only in spring, summer, autumn. Outside the city, on the street, as well as in dry windy weather, they increase.

If symptoms occur at certain times of the year, you may be allergic to pollen. Move on to the third question.

3 . During what period are these symptoms most pronounced?

l April – May

l May – July

l July – October

Now you can find out the cause of your seasonal sickness.

Option 1. If the listed symptoms bother you from mid-April to late May, most likely you are allergic to the pollen of trees flowering at this time: birch, alder, hazel.

However, a little earlier, at the beginning of April, spores of fungi of the genus Cladosporium appear in the air. They can also cause allergies. If symptoms persist from mid-May to mid-June, the allergic reaction may be related to dusting from conifers such as spruce and pine.

Option 2. If catarrhal symptoms bother you from late May to late July, you may be allergic to pollen from cereals: timothy grass, fescue, hedgehog, bluegrass, ryegrass, wheat, rye, oats.

The concentration of fungal spores in the air at this time is very high!

Option 3. If these symptoms bother you from the end of July to the end of October, you may be allergic to the pollen of nimbus and Asteraceae: swan, wormwood, ragweed, nettle.

Remember: a high concentration of fungal spores in the air remains!

What products to stay away from

Plant pollen has common allergenic properties with many foods.A hypoallergenic diet is based on excluding them from the diet so as not to provoke the appearance of cross-allergies. But for each patient, the diet should be selected individually. Except for an allergist, no one will do this. However, there are some simple tips that we have put in the form of a plate for convenience.

Flowering time Sources of pollen Hazardous products
early April – late June alder, hazel, birch, elm, willow, poplar, maple, pine, spruce

Birch sap, carrots, all stone fruits: plums, apricots, cherries, olives, apples, pears, kiwi; nuts.especially hazelnuts; herbs and spices.

Possible reactions to potatoes, tomatoes,

cucumbers and onions.

end of May – mid of July Timothy, fescue, hedgehog, bluegrass, foxtail wheatgrass, wheat, oats, rye

Beer, kvass, corn, soybeans, beans, peanuts, sorrel, cereals and pasta, bread and all products from oats, wheat, rye, barley.

Possible reactions to strawberries, strawberries, citrus fruits.

end June – end August Ambrosia, Wormwood, Quinoa, Nettle, Mary

Sunflower oil, seeds, halva, mayonnaise, mustard, chicory; vermouth and balms; melons and watermelons; herbs and spices. If you are allergic to pollen of hawkweed (quinoa): beets, spinach.

Possible reactions to carrots, garlic, citrus fruits.

MedGarant »» What to do if you have allergies?

Here are 20 tips to follow to protect yourself from hay fever,

it’s okay to survive this spring and generally live life to the fullest, although before it seemed that in the flowering season

this is simply impossible:

The author is the chief physician of the clinic Medgarant: Olga Evgenievna Gorn.

  • Try to stay at home on dry, windy days. In this weather, the most pollen is in the air. On the contrary, after the rain it becomes much less, so this is the best time to walk or go shopping.
  • When going outside, wear sunglasses. This will help protect your eyes from irritating pollen.
  • Close your car windows when driving, especially out of town.
  • In principle, try not to leave the city during the period of active flowering, since outside the city the concentration of pollen of some plants and trees is much higher than in the city.Also, those who like to work in the beds in the garden or in the flower beds of their garden are advised to postpone these activities until the end of the hay fever season.
  • When you get home, take a shower and put your street clothes out of the way. Tiny particles of pollen remain on your body and on your clothes, which support allergies.
  • Dry washed clothes indoors. You should not do this on the street: there pollen from flowering plants can stick to it, which will cause allergies as soon as you put on these clothes.
  • Use the air conditioner in your car and at home. There are special air filters that trap allergens. Do house cleaning regularly by vacuuming up dust (they have anti-allergenic HEPA filters).
  • Sleep with closed windows.
  • Watch out for pets. If you let them go outside, pollen can also accumulate on their fur, which they will bring home to you.
  • Take a shower and wash your hair before bed.This will cleanse your skin and hair of any allergens that have stuck to them during the day. The likelihood of nighttime allergy attacks will be markedly reduced.
  • Start taking over-the-counter medicines as agreed with your doctor. For spring allergies, antihistamines are usually helpful. It is preferable to use antihistamines of the 2nd and 3rd generations (loratadine, levocetirizine and others), since they are safer and less likely to cause drowsiness.
  • Irrigate nasal cavity with saline or distilled water.This will relieve nasal congestion and flush out allergens and mucus directly.
  • The best way to deal with spring allergies is with allergen specific immunotherapy. During it, the doctor will first determine what exactly is causing you allergies, and then will give a series of subcutaneous injections. They will allow the body to gradually “get used” to the allergen and reduce the severity of symptoms. You need to do such injections well in advance, while the allergy season has not yet arrived.
  • Avoid psycho-emotional and strenuous physical activity.
  • If possible, travel to climatic zones with a different dusting calendar, to the seaside or mountains where pollen concentrations are much lower. Plan your vacation by knowing in advance the timing of the blooming of allergenic plants in the area of ​​your chosen holiday destination.
  • In case of an exacerbation of pollinosis, postpone the performance of planned operations, preventive vaccinations and vaccinations.
  • Do not use medicines, cosmetics, homeopathic medicines or herbal medicine if they contain extracts of plants that are allergenic to you.
  • Always have with you the “Passport of an Allergic Disease”, which your allergist will give you after consultation and examination. The passport will contain your last name, first name and patronymic, date of birth, allergic diagnosis, the range of allergens to which you have a sensitivity, as well as a list of measures to eliminate contact with the allergen. The passport contains a list of medications that should always be in your first-aid kit, indicates the order of measures in case of anaphylactic shock and the sequence of medications.
  • Start keeping a “Diary of a patient with hay fever”, in which you must indicate the date of the onset of symptoms, how severe they were, what treatment you used, indicating the doses of drugs and the frequency of their use, and you must also note the date when the symptoms of allergy disappeared.
  • During an exacerbation of hay fever, it is necessary to follow a specific hypoallergenic diet, the composition of which depends on the type of hay fever. – More than half of patients with hay fever react to foods that have similar characteristics to pollen allergens.The so-called cross-allergic reaction develops. That is why patients are advised to follow a special hypoallergenic diet.
  • Hypoallergenic diet for patients with cereal pollen allergy. What not: cereals and cereals, bran, bakery products, sausages, canned meat, dry mixes for making sauces, honey and bee products, beer, whiskey, wheat vodka, kvass, coffee substitutes based on wheat, cocoa, strawberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, soybeans, beans, peanuts, corn, sorrel, cereal herbal remedies.
  • Hypoallergenic diet for patients with weed pollen allergy. What not: honey and bee products, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, mustard, mayonnaise, melons (melon, watermelon), zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, alcoholic beverages, tarragon, herbs and spices, chicory, citrus fruits, bananas, garlic , carrots, beets, spinach.
  • Hypoallergenic diet for patients with tree pollen allergy. What not: honey and bee products, stone fruits, apples, pears, kiwi, nuts, carrots, herbs, spices, cognac, wine, birch sap, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions.

Be healthy, take care of yourself and your loved ones!

Tags: allergy spring doctorimmunologyimmunology

Pollen allergy – causes, symptoms, treatment

Pollen allergy (medical name “hay fever”) is a serious disease caused by an allergic reaction of the body to the pollen of wind-pollinated plants.Its manifestations are observed throughout the warm season and harass almost half of the population of Russia. The disease is not life threatening, except in cases of exacerbation of bronchial asthma. In the old days, hay fever was called hay fever and was associated with haymaking – the harvesting of flowering forage grasses.

Pollen allergy symptoms

There are three waves of exacerbation of the disease:

  • April-May – blooming of deciduous trees and shrubs;
  • June-July – flowering of grasses and grasses;
  • August-September – weeds bloom.

Debilitating symptoms of pollen allergy:

  • rhinitis – runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, profuse watery discharge;
  • conjunctivitis – redness of the eyelids and sclera, itching and pain in the eyes, tears and mucous discharge from the eyes;
  • pollen asthma – swelling of the nasopharynx and trachea, shortness of breath, cough, hoarseness;
  • headache, increased fatigue, sweating, drowsiness, weakness.

Children may develop congestion in the ears up to hearing loss, hives, food allergies.In some cases, an exacerbation of the disease causes an increase in temperature and Quincke’s edema.

Pollen allergy is an erroneous reaction of the immune system to certain mechanical stimuli that enter the mucous membrane. Taking the proteins in the pollen grains for hostile viruses, it turns on a defense system – liquid secretions that flush invading enemies from the body. In most patients, symptoms begin to appear when 40-50 grains are deposited on the mucous membrane. But sometimes 3-5 grains of dust are enough for the body to react violently to them.

Pollen allergy treatment

If you have signs of hay fever, see your doctor. Many people try to treat their symptoms on their own by taking antihistamines. This is fraught with the development of addiction to the drug and / or drug allergies. A specialist allergist takes skin tests, identifies the allergen, makes a diagnosis, prescribes medications appropriate for the type of allergy, monitors and treats the patient.

In 75% of cases, the drug Ruzam, used at the Institute of Health, copes with the treatment of pollen allergy.It was developed by the Institute of Pulmonology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and successfully passed clinical trials. Most antihistamines have a suppressive effect on the immune system to reduce the allergic reaction. The advantage of Ruzam is that it acts at the early stage of hay fever and increases the antiviral immunity of the body.

We can also undergo a course of allergen-specific therapy based on the introduction of an allergen into the body, to which a susceptible sensitivity has been identified.Treatment should be supervised by a physician. after each injection, the patient should be observed by an allergist for 30 minutes. As a result of the full course of therapy, there is an increase in the resistance of immunity to the effects of the allergen.

Make an appointment with the allergist of the Medical Center “Institute of Health” and enjoy the spring as never before! Learn more … Branch addresses

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90,000 Allergies to fruits, berries and nuts. Cross Reactions

For the development of an allergic reaction, not the whole product (peach, cherry, plum, cabbage, hazelnuts, etc.) is responsible, but individual proteins that are part of it. Some proteins break down when heated and lose their allergenic properties, so sometimes the cooked product becomes safe for the allergic person. Others cause cross-reactions with proteins found in other foods.

If, after receiving the results of the analysis for allergens, you find out that you are allergic to one of the products, then we recommend that you consult an allergist again and find out which examination is optimal for you to undergo in order to know which products you may have a cross-allergic reaction to and whether you can eat these foods after being cooked or they should be completely eliminated from your diet.

Allergy to fruits and berries

June is rich in berries. This is the time for delicious cherries, strawberries, raspberries and strawberries, as well as the beginning of the stone fruit season. In particular, at the end of June, the freshest peaches, nectarines, and apricots appear on the shelves.

These plants belong to the Rosaceae family and contain the allergenic proteins Pru p 1 similar to Bet v 1 birch (PR-10 – proteins) characteristic of this family. Pru p 1 and Pru p 3 (LTP) are the main allergens in peach fruits.PR-10 proteins are unstable and therefore usually cause only local reactions. They also lose their allergenic properties when heated, i.e. during cooking, so jams, jams and other heat-treated foods containing these fruits can be safe for allergy sufferers if they are not allergic to other heat-stable proteins in these fruits.

Pru p 1 is found in low concentration and is thermolabile, while Pru p 3 is extremely abundant in peach peels and is resistant to heat and gastric juices.Lipid transporter proteins (LTPs) are concentrated in the peel of the Rosaceae fruit. There is a high level of cross-reactivity between members of the Rosaceae family.

Pru p 3 , a lipid carrier protein, possibly together with other larger peach proteins, is involved in allergenic bonds with other fruits of the Rosaceae family, especially apricots, cherries and plums. There is a high level of cross-reactivity between fruits, nuts and vegetables containing lipid carrier proteins such as sweet chestnuts, cabbage, walnuts, lettuce, and hazelnuts.Grapes and wine may contain LTPs that are homologous (s) and cross-reactive with peach LTP.

If you or your child are allergic to fruits and berries, the allergist at MediArt Clinic will help you draw up an optimal diagnostic plan to identify proteins that cause an allergic reaction. Perhaps this will allow you to significantly enrich your diet with foods that are safe for you, which you previously avoided for fear of an allergic reaction. A may indicate a range of foods that must be tried with caution or even avoided.

Make an appointment with an allergist

Allergy to nuts, legumes and seeds

All of them are capable of causing very serious systemic reactions, because they contain very stable and highly allergenic molecules. Nuts, seeds and legumes contain the following families of allergenic proteins:

  • Stock proteins (storage)

  • Lipid transfer proteins (LTPs)

  • Pathogenesis-associated proteins (PR-10)

Storage proteins are used as material for the growth of new plants and are most often found in the studied products – seeds, nuts and legumes.They are resistant to heat and hydrolysis and will cause reactions even to cooked food. When fermented in the gastrointestinal tract, their allergenic properties also do not disappear. This often leads to the development of systemic and severe reactions.

The good news is that storage proteins generally do not cause cross-reactions, except for closely related allergens (for example, cross-reactions between legumes such as soybeans and peanuts are possible). Much more often, cross-reactions occur with sensitization to lipid carrier proteins.

It’s important to note that there is a high likelihood of cross-reactions between lentils, chickpeas, peas and peanuts. In contrast, white beans are more likely to be well tolerated by patients with allergies to other beans.

The most common cause of allergic reactions are hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, macadamia. They are contained in:

  • desserts (chocolate, nougat, marzipan),

  • sauces (pesto, barbecue, etc.)),

  • salads, liqueurs and the nuts themselves as part of various snacks,

  • cosmetics,

  • the most unexpected products due to the use of the same tools and equipment in the production of foods with and without nuts.

Nuts contain very strong allergens , which can cause allergic reactions even when exposed to trace amounts.Therefore, for safety reasons, potentially hazardous products are labeled “may contain traces of nuts”, which should not be neglected.

Hazelnuts, like all nuts, contain reserve proteins – Cor a 9 and Cor a 14. These are very stable molecules, they do not break down when heated and withstand the action of enzymes of the gastrointestinal tract.

The majority of patients (91.7%) with sesame allergy are sensitized to Ses i 1 (2S albumin).Sesame allergy occurs in 50-54% of patients who are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts (pine nuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts). It’s also important to note the cross-reactivity of sesame allergens and a number of other foods such as peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, black walnuts, cashews, macadamia, pistachios, kiwi, rye and poppy seeds.

Make an appointment with an allergist

How to understand the sensitivity to which allergens?

Allergenic proteins of varying stability are found in eggs, milk, fruits and berries, and other foods.To figure out which molecule you are sensitive to, and to choose an adequate diet, single ImmunoCAP studies for individual molecules (allergic components) or ImmunoCAP ISAC , when it is necessary to assess the full profile of sensitization, or the clinical picture is blurred – using the ISAC multi-allergen test, will help. ImmunoCAP ISAC is a blood test that gives a reliable answer for 112 allergenic molecules at once.

Medical Center Allergy Center – What to do if you are allergic to the sun

Photodermatosis or allergy to the sun is a group of diseases that develop under the influence of ultraviolet rays of the sun and can have a different clinical picture.
It manifests itself as a rash, itching and swelling after sun exposure. May be accompanied by photoconjunctivitis, rhinitis, fever.
Photodermatitis is not a classic allergic reaction, since it does not form an antigen-antibody complex and belongs to the group of pseudo-allergic reactions.
The reasons for the development of photodermatitis may be external (exogenous) or internal (endogenous) factors that cause an increased response to the rays of the solar spectrum.
Therefore, in the case of the appearance of photodermatitis , it is necessary to undergo a complex of studies, since rashes after insolation can be a manifestation of a number of serious diseases, which can be confirmed or excluded by a qualified doctor.
Usually a number of mandatory laboratory tests are prescribed, if necessary, additional ones can be prescribed, for example:
blood for antibodies to DNA reactive and denatured, determination of the biodose of ultraviolet irradiation .
Consultations of doctors of allied medical specialties may be required.

Classic treatment program:
• diet number 5, 9.
• limiting exposure to solar radiation (photoprotective equipment, clothing).
• exclusion of the influence of alleged phototoxic, photo-allergic agents (medicines, perfumes, plants).
By doctor’s prescription:
• hyposensitizing agents (10% calcium gluconate solution, 30% sodium thiosulfate solution).
• antihistamines (usually courses of 10 days alternate): chloropyramine, clemastine, diphenhydramine, loratadine, desloratadine, sebastine, fexofenadine.
• in severe cases – the systemic use of glucocorticoid drugs (prednisolone, triamcinolone, betamethasone).
• antimalarial drugs (chloroquine derivatives) after acute inflammation subsides (hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine).
• antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamin E, C).
• drugs that improve peripheral blood circulation (xanthinol nicotinate, nicotinic acid).
• hepatoprotectors (essential phospholipids, thiotriazoline, carsil, LIV-52, legalon).

External treatment.

Be sure to use photoprotective creams with a high degree of protection.
Glucocorticoid creams or ointments on the face that contain mometasone furoate, hydrocortisone-17-butyrate, methylprednisolone aceponate. On other parts of the body – betamethasone valerate, triamcinolone acetonide, prednisolone.In the presence of blistering rashes, exudation – aerosol oxytetracycline + hydrocortisone (until acute inflammation subsides).
The duration of treatment depends on the nosological form of dermatosis and its severity, usually from 7 to 15 days.
Considering that allergy to the sun is a marker of serious changes in the body, only an allergist can carry out the correct selection of drug groups.

Other articles:

Allergic reactions – onset and stages of development

Pseudo-allergic reactions – what is it