What Causes Allergies?


All of us are exposed to different potential allergens at different times of the day. For example, if you go out to work and show allergy symptoms during the working day then something in your work environment may be triggering your allergy. Working out what causes allergies is the first step to finding the right treatment for you.







Hay fever season: causes of hay fever

Hay fever seasons vary from year to year but the spring and summer months are when people most commonly suffer from allergies to the different types of pollen — like weed and grass — and even mould spores.

Tree pollen normally occurs during spring. Grass and weed pollen occur during summer.

The calendar shows the general pollen situation in the UK. The exact timing and severity of pollen seasons will differ from year to year depending on the weather and also regionally depending on geographical location.

Information supplied by the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit. University of Worcester.

Coping with the hay fever season: how to prevent symptoms

Although this can be difficult in summer, keeping doors and windows shut helps prevent the flow of pollen throughout the house. It is also a good idea to have a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after being outside as pollen will remain on your clothes and hair which can cause further irritation.

Try to avoid cutting the grass or ask a non-hay fever sufferer to do it instead, as grass pollen can trigger hay fever.   




Cat and dog

What causes pet allergies?

Pets are also a common trigger for people's allergies. Cats, in particular, cause allergies but dogs and rabbits too can trigger the itching and sneezing of airborne allergy.

For most people, it is not the fur itself that causes the allergy problem. Dander, the name given to the mixture of small particles of fur, skin scales (like dandruff) and saliva, is the actual cause. In cats, for example, a particular protein found in cats' saliva causes an allergic reaction in many sufferers of airborne allergy. Because cats groom themselves so thoroughly, the saliva finds its way onto carpets, furniture and other surfaces.

Coping with pet & dander allergies

Keeping pets out of the bedroom helps reduce exposure.

Regular bathing of the animal can reduce the allergic problem by removing the saliva and dander that are the actual triggers.

For most people, the only way to reduce this problem is, sadly, to find a new home for their furry friend.