What’s Causing Your Allergies to Act Up?

What’s Causing Your Allergies to Act Up?

If you have allergies, you probably think it’s the allergens themselves causing you to sneeze and develop watery eyes and itchy rashes. In fact, it’s your body’s immune system mistaking these harmless allergens as a threat. The symptoms you subsequently feel are a result of your immune system fighting those allergens. But why do some of us react in the first place? What’s causing your allergies to act up?

Synthetic Fabrics

Some people are affected by synthetics, like polyester and latex. Typical symptoms include an itchy rash, swelling, redness, and tenderness at the site of contact. Natural fabrics are best for those with polyester allergies – and that goes for bedding as well as clothes. You should consider getting natural wool quilts from trusted manufacturers. You can find plenty online, such as at the MiniJumbuk website. Wool is great for keeping you warm in winter and absorbing moisture from your skin in summer. Get heavier weights for colder months and lighter weights for warmer temperatures.

Genes

Yes, the five letter word. Unfortunately, a propensity to develop allergies can be inherited, though specific allergies cannot. A child with one allergic parent has a 33% chance of developing allergies and, with two allergic parents, the risk is higher at 70%. But don’t worry. Being genetically predisposed doesn’t guarantee a person will develop allergies. Certain allergens will trigger allergic reactions only if the circumstance are exactly right (or perhaps wrong would be the better word here!).

Exposure

Sometimes, even if you’ve inhaled or ingested an allergen several times before without any trouble, your body may one day suddenly see it as an ‘invader’. It’s at this point that the immune system studies the allergen, then develops antibodies (to detect it), readying itself for the next exposure. This means you’re ‘sensitised’ to the allergen, so the next time you’re exposed to the allergen, the antibodies recognise it, triggering mast cells to release histamine – these will cause your symptoms like sneezing, rashes, swelling, and so on. Everyone’s threshold is different; you could react to the tiniest amount of exposure while someone else needs a much larger dose to see a reaction.

Age

Again, everyone is different. A lot of children can grow out of an allergy by the time they’re in their teens. Some adults will find that, when they’re past middle age, they’ll still have symptoms, only less severe. However, there are also many people who find that their allergies become worse as they get older. This seems particularly true with food, latex, or bee sting allergies, though it’s not known why.

External Factors

In many cases, external factors play a large role in the development of allergy symptoms. You could be cruising along nicely, with your allergies under control, then suddenly be hit with a heavy pollen season, or you may have a new job in an office full of mould or dust mites. Your allergies could then flare up in ways you wished they wouldn’t!

Take control of your allergy symptoms rather than ignoring them, as they rarely go away on their own. Remember that you may one day experience more severe symptoms if you don’t manage them properly now. See your doctor if you have to – you may discover there’s medication or some other preventative action you can take, protecting you from complications in future.

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