Five Types of Allergies

Five Types of Allergies

It’s estimated as many as 50 million people in the United States have allergies. You can develop an allergy to almost anything at any time. However, some allergies are more common than others.

At Total Care Family Practice, our experienced family medicine physician, Dr. Evan Allen, specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies. 

Here, we want to share with you five of the most common types of allergies. 

1. Environmental allergies

Dust, mold, pollen, and pet dander are environmental allergies. When you breathe in, touch, or ingest these substances, your immune system views them as harmful, releasing chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction. 

Environmental allergies most often affect the respiratory system, causing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or a sore throat. You may also develop itchy, watery eyes. Environmental allergies may also trigger asthma

Avoiding your allergen is the best way to prevent symptoms. Unfortunately, this may be difficult with environmental allergies. Allergy medications and nasal sprays may ease your symptoms. 

2. Food allergies

You can develop an allergy to any type of food. However, there are some common food allergens, including:

Food allergy symptoms may affect your digestive system, causing an itchy mouth or throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Food allergies may also affect the skin, causing hives or a rash. 

You may also develop life-threatening anaphylaxis from a food allergy. Anaphylaxis may cause shortness of breath, low blood pressure, or loss of consciousness. 

This type of allergic reaction is a medical emergency. If you or someone you love is having an anaphylactic allergic reaction, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. 

Unlike environmental allergens, you can avoid food allergens. 

3. Insect allergies

Bees, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, and fire ants inject venom when they sting you. Most people recover from these insect stings within a few hours or days. However, for some people, the venom from these insects may trigger an anaphylactic allergic reaction. 

Biting insects like mosquitoes and fleas may also cause an allergic reaction, usually around the site of the insect bite. But these types of allergies are typically not as severe as the stinging insect allergies.

You can also have an allergy to cockroaches, which usually affects the respiratory system, causing coughing, sneezing, or wheezing. This type of allergy also triggers asthma. 

4. Drug allergies

Though many people experience adverse reactions to various drugs, only about 5-10% of people have a true drug allergy. 

The most common drugs that cause allergic reactions include:

Common drug allergy symptoms include hives, facial swelling, and respiratory problems. Though not as common, some people experience life-threatening anaphylactic reactions to drugs. 

5. Latex allergies

Latex allergies are an allergic reaction to the natural rubber latex that comes from the rubber tree. This type of allergy is rare. Natural latex is used to make many products like balloons, rubber exam gloves, and condoms.

Symptoms of a latex allergy may range from mild to severe. If you have a latex allergy, you should avoid any products that contain the allergen. We also recommend wearing a medical bracelet indicating your allergy in case you need emergency medical care.

Allergies are common and cause a wide range of symptoms. To find out what’s causing your runny nose or itchy rash, schedule an appointment with Dr. Allen at our office in Henderson, Nevada, by calling or clicking the “book online” button today.

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