The AllerVision website requires that Javascript be used. Please enable Javascript on your computer.
 

Allergy Causes and Symptoms

Allergy Causes and Symptoms

What is an Allergy?

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to an inappropriate stimulus, such as dust, pollen, grass, pet dander, mold, etc. The immune system believes it is being invaded by a parasite rather than a harmless allergen in the environment, and therefore it rallies its defenses to fight off the enemy.

Allergy Symptoms

The list of symptoms caused by allergies is longer than you might think. Primary signs of allergies include:

  • Runny or congested nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Asthma
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Sinus headaches
  • Nasal polyps
  • Conjunctivitis (eye irritation)
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Skin rashes and eczema
  • Mental problems such as confusion, slow thinking, depression and forgetfulness
  • Respiratory effects including endless colds, chronic cough, recurrent bronchitis

Of course, there are many possible reasons for these symptoms. The only way to know if they are caused by allergies is to take an allergy test. AllerVision offers a pain-free skin test that provides answers in just 15-minutes. Any AllerVision-affiliated medical clinic will have the ability to perform the test and read the results on the spot.

Allergy Triggers

There are many items in the environment that could cause your allergies. They fall into four general categories:

  • Animal dander — from dogs, cats and cockroaches
  • Mold and mildew
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen — from trees, grass and weeds
Animal Dander (Year-round)

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not animal fur that causes allergies, it’s a protein in their saliva. When animals lick themselves, the protein attaches to the fur and that’s when it becomes the problem. Then animals shed and their fur sticks in carpeting, upholstery, etc. where it can stay for months.

The same protein found in saliva is also present in animals’ urine. Therefore, gerbils, hamsters and other small caged animals could cause problems for allergy-prone individuals.

Pets aren’t the only problem. Cockroaches, common to tropical areas, also contribute large allergen particles to the space around us. Proteins in their saliva and feces become airborne easily and circulate through the air without your knowledge.

Mold and Mildew (Year-round, Especially Bad in Rainy Seasons)

Simply put, mold is bad. So bad that exposure sometimes seriously affects non-allergic people. Mold reproduces when airborne spores land on wet surfaces, so any room with moisture is vulnerable, especially those that don’t dry thoroughly (like bathrooms counters, showers and bathtubs, and refrigerator drip trays). Also, plumbing leaks could cause major problems to your home and your health if they’re not fixed immediately.

Dust Mites (Year-round)


These microscopic creatures can create big allergy problems. As they float through the air or reproduce in carpeting, upholstery and bedding, the protein in their droppings pollute the environment and cause perennial problems for a many allergy sufferers. Vacuuming, dusting with a damp cloth, and washing sheets regularly can help but, unfortunately, dust mites are hard to completely avoid.

Pollens (Seasonal)

Have you ever rolled in the grass and then started itching? It’s allergies. The worst offenders are Bermuda, Johnson, Kentucky bluegrass, Orchard, Sweet vernal, and Timothy grasses. When lawn mowers cut them, the pollen starts flying. Keep in mind that pollen can stow away on you clothes and on your pets, so vacuum and shower frequently.

Tree pollen is another big troublemaker, and these varieties are especially to blame: sycamore, hickory, walnut, pecan, poplar, cottonwood, box elder, red maple, silver maple, willow, ash, date palm and Phoenix palm trees. Some people have cross-reactions to alder, beech, birch, oak, juniper, and cedar families as well. Removing these trees from your garden may be of little help to allergies; tree pollen can travel up to 50 miles on a strong wind.

Weeds are not only the bane of existence to gardeners, but also allergy sufferers, as they are regular pollen factories. Ragweed is the worst offender, as one plant can release 1 million grains of pollen each day. Other troublemakers are sagebrush, redroot, pigweed, lamb’s quarters, Russian thistle (tumbleweed) and English plantain.

Allergy Map

See a list, and pictures, of the most prevalent allergy-causing trees, grasses and weeds in your area by clicking on the map.


United States Map
SW
WC
MTN
PL
SE
MW
SFL
NE



Now that you know what causes allergies,

learn how to stop them by clicking here.






If you'd like to get relief for your allergies, click here.





Disclaimer: This is General Information Only, it is Not Medical Advice. The resource materials and links included on the AllerVision website (“the Site”) are provided “as is” for general information only and without warranties of any kind. The information provided by the Site, including information regarding oral immunotherapy, is provided for informational purposes only. While it is our policy to provide accurate information, prepared by reliable sources, we and any other party involved in the preparation of material presented on this website do not represent or warrant that the information is accurate or complete. The Site does not offer advice or recommendations to individuals regarding health care providers and you should not rely on the information posted on the Site as a substitute for consultations with qualified health care professionals who are familiar with individual medical conditions and needs. You are encouraged to confirm the information contained on this website with other sources, especially your physician or other healthcare provider. Your use of the Site is an acknowledgment that you have read, understood, and agree to abide by the terms of this Disclaimer.


ALL CONTENT PROVIDED ON THIS WEB SITE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT PROVIDED ON THE WEB SITE SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AS MEDICAL OR HEALTH CARE ADVICE. NOTHING CONTAINED ON THE WEB SITE IS INTENDED TO BE USED FOR MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT OR AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR CONSULTATION WITH A QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. NEVER DISREGARD MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY IN SEEKING IT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON THIS WEBSITE.