Know allergens that most affect health & avoid them

Today we will talk about those undesirable reactions that the ruthless environmental and home agents provoke to our precious immune system ruining our daily lives.                                 Author: Alan Rada

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half of the world population will suffer some type of allergic disorder by 2050.

However, what is an allergic reaction? The WHO definition says that an allergy is a disproportionate reaction of the organism when it meets invading substances that come from the outside. These substances - clinically known as allergens or allergens - are the substances that cause us an allergic reaction.

Actually, both the WHO and the OMA (World Allergy Organization) are very concerned about the massive increase in this type of disease.

Environmental Allergens

Found in the environment or external spaces. Among the most common agents - without forgetting others that we will talk about later - are the pollen of flowers, grasses or cereals that, coinciding with pollination, are responsible for seasonal allergic symptoms.

Indoor Allergens

These types of agents are those found in both our homes and interior spaces such as offices, schools, houses, etc. Among these, we can highlight the mold, the epithelia of animals (rodents, cats, dogs, and birds), cockroaches and mites.

Most common allergies

Many times, the body is prepared to fight these germs efficiently and others when it cannot defend itself from external viruses, producing autoimmune reactions.

Although there are allergies that occur in certain environments, there are also allergies linked to food and contact with some materials such as latex.

Among the allergies that most affect populations, we have:

Allergic Conjunctivitis

It is increasingly frequent and often develops with the same clinical severity as allergic rhinitis or asthma.


It can present as a chronic or acute form and is one of the most common and expensive medical conditions due to the frequency in which it occurs.

Allergic Rhinitis

Currently, this disease affects 10% and 30% of the entire population, being a risk factor for asthma. This AR is the result of IgE-mediated inflammation in the nasal mucosa. 


Produced by chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract, also associated with bronchial hyperreactivity and obstruction of the air supply, which, if left unchecked, can cause death.

Urticaria (hives) & Angioedema

They are a heterogeneous group of sub-types of diseases characterized by hives and/or angioedema of which there are three main types:

  1. Angioedema caused by particular stimuli such as physical urticarias.
  2. Spontaneous apparition of hives that may be associated with acute and chronic urticaria.
  3. Other types of urticaria such as exercise-induced urticaria. For example, we have swimmers, who may be allergic to water chlorine or NFL players exposed to all kinds of materials or sweat for extended periods. At the same time, moderate and controlled exercise is beneficial to treat these conditions.

Other Allergies

We cannot forget to mention other types of allergies such as food allergy, optic eczema, anaphylaxis, allergy to biological agents and medicines. Allergy to insects, occupational allergy. You may also be allergic to a certain type of substance without knowing it.

For example, do you know that Adrian Peterson, one of the elite stars in NFL wagering, is allergic to several foods, specially seafood? The current Washington Redskins running back, has spoken widely about having anaphylaxis and has raised awareness about it.

Prevention Tips

Here are some recommendations from specialists to deal with these agents:

  • Keep your pets out of the house (sad but true)
  • Remove the garbage daily
  • Control humidity
  • Ventilate environments
  • Use anti-mite covers for pillows and mattresses
  • Clean air conditioner filters
  • During the pollination, peaks close the windows of your home and car
  • Clean surfaces daily with damp clothes (without sweeping)
  • Protect your eyes with glasses

By adding all these guidelines, we will contribute to treating and decreasing allergies considerably. Many people also make use of antihistamines prescribed by a professional.

The White Book

If you or someone in your family suffers from this type of condition, take notes and learn about the great work that WAO is doing to identify and treat allergies.

The first State of World Allergy Report - SOWAR, was published in 2007. In the following years, the WAO brought to light the White Book on Allergy. This book provides "High level" recommendations to create a more integrated approach to the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases, as well as provide more education to primary and secondary care, and allergy specialists. It trains medical students. Encourages prevention and increases the awareness of allergic diseases.

It should be noted that health professionals have the duty to differentiate between real allergies and "pseudoallergy" in which the mechanisms that trigger them are not allergic or mediated by the immune system.

Also, keep in mind that, people may have a predisposition to allergies if their genetics determines it (atopy). 

It is essential to know through consultation with the specialist if you are going through a seasonal or chronic illness. Talk to your doctor and let him know you know this!

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