What can trigger allergies?

There are a number of different allergy-causing substances a person might react to, depending on their genetics. These are some of the most frequent allergens, allergy diagnosis and treatments.

  1. Dust mites. They are microscopic organisms that live in house dust. House dust is a mixture of potentially allergenic materials including fibers from different fabrics, dandruff from animals, bacteria, mold or fungus spores, food particles, bits of plants, dead skin and other things. Dust mites accumulate in carpets, mattresses and pillows. Their defecations cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive skin. This trigger affects 90 percent of people who suffer from allergies.
  2. The pollen of flowers and tree blossom. Provokes reactions in 70 percent of allergic people.
    The pollen of flowers and tree blossom
  3. Domestic animals. They are the third most common cause of allergic reaction; 40 percent of asthmatic children have allergic reactions to the proteins secreted by the oil glands in an animal's skin, as well as to the proteins present in an animal's saliva or urine.
  4. Molds. They are microscopic fungi with spores that float in the air like pollen. In the fall molds are more common. They can bring on sever asthma attacks.
  5. Foods. In this allergy trigger group, the most common allergic foods are milk, chocolate, eggs, fish and peanuts. Colorants and preservatives can also trigger allergic reactions.
  6. Medications. Some people develop allergies to certain medications. The best treatment of drug allergies is to avoid the offending drug altogether. There are a number of ingredients in cosmetics and perfumes that can trigger allergies in some people.


An important part of diagnosing allergies is a careful evaluation of your symptoms. Your doctor will ask you several questions to rule out other conditions that may cause allergy-like symptoms. You should inform your doctor about the environmental conditions around you (home, work, contact with animals), triggering factors that provoke symptoms, family history with allergies, etc. Other tests may be performed—based on your doctor's recommendations after the medical history and examination—to determine which allergens are causing your symptoms. These may include a skin test or a blood test. In both, a sample is taken from the allergy sufferer and analyzed for antibodies. On the basis of both tests (doctors may not always be able to determine the exact cause) your physician will diagnose a specific treatment.


In the past 100 years allergies and cases of asthma have increased significantly, especially in children and young adults. There is evidence that air pollutants worsen allergies and asthma. High concentrates of nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) and a large array of particles in the air, due to a high emission of diesel exhaust, are significant factors in air pollution spurring allergies.


Cigarette smoke contains a number of toxic chemicals and irritants. People with allergies may be more sensitive to cigarette smoke than other people, and research studies indicate that smoking may aggravate allergies. Smoking does not just harm smokers but also those around them. Research has shown that children and spouses of smokers tend to have more respiratory infections and asthma than those of non-smokers. In addition, exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of complications such as sinusitis and bronchitis. Not only cigarette smoke is irritating, smoke from wood stoves and chimneys can also be irritating for asthmatics. They release certain chemicals including sulfur dioxide. If you can, avoid wood stoves and fireplaces, and keep the room well ventilated.

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