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5 Common Allergens

Last updated: August 2022

An allergy occurs when our immune system mistakes a foreign substance for a harmful invader. The immune system causes the body to release more antibodies, causing an allergic reaction with varying symptoms, depending on the cause and the individual. There are many different allergens; however, some are more common than others. These are a list of 5 common allergens.

1. Peanuts

Peanuts are an allergen that I personally struggle with, and honestly, it's not an easy one. Peanut allergies can range from mild to severe. Peanut exposure can cause mild symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny nose, or severe anaphylactic reaction. An anaphylaxis reaction causes the throat to close up and renders the person unable to breathe correctly.

I suffer from the latter, and it's genuinely terrifying to have such a reaction. I now have to carry an EpiPen with me at all times in case this happens again. Thankfully, it's only happened once as I'm extremely cautious about what I consume, but the possibility is always there – and it's terrifying!

2. Pollen

Pollen is a prevalent trigger for allergies. Many of us also know it by the term "hay fever." Pollen is extremely hard to avoid. I'm quite blessed and grateful that I haven't had any issues personally with this.

Various plants excrete pollen, including trees, grass, flowers, and weeds. Since pollen has a light and fluffy texture, it travels through the air easily, making it nearly impossible to avoid the trigger. Many people end up having to try to stay inside when pollen levels are high. Pollen allergy symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose.

3. Dust mites

Dust mites are found in bedding, carpets, furniture, and other materials. Dust mites are an extremely common allergen, especially for those who suffer from skin conditions. I found out about this one in my teenage years when I started dealing with eczema.

During my allergy testing, dust mites were the most severe allergen for me. I had to change all my bedding and get special covers that protect against dust mites. My parents even ripped out the carpet in our home and put in hardwood flooring instead.

4. Animals and pets

Many people struggle with animal allergies, whether to birds, dogs, cats, etc. When an individual has an allergy to any animal, their immune system reacts to the pet dander. The common symptoms can include a runny nose, swelling lips, watery eyes, and skin rashes.

5. Mold

We all are exposed to some mold all the time. However, if there's too much exposure, it can cause an allergic reaction. The common symptoms of mold allergies are runny nose and congestion, sneezing, as well as itching, and skin rashes.

In worse cases, mold can also trigger asthma and other breathing issues if it reaches the lungs. Mold allergies are pretty common and can be triggered by both food and environmental triggers.

Be aware of these allergens

There are many different kinds of allergies, but these are some of the most common ones I believe are essential to be aware of. We all have completely different bodies and different reactions to different things. So it is crucial to keep an eye on your triggers, work with your healthcare provider or team, and most importantly – listen to your own body.

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