Did you know that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States? Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a foreign (usually harmless) substance. An allergic reaction can be triggered by something you eat, inhale, inject, or touch. Here are a few things to know about environmental allergies.
What Happens During an Allergic Reaction?
During an allergic reaction, your body produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin (IgE), which travel to cells that release chemicals that cause inflammation. The severity of an allergic reaction varies from person to person. In most extreme cases, anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction, can occur. When a person experiences anaphylaxis, they require epinephrine and should also go to the emergency department. If you don’t treat anaphylaxis immediately, it can lead to death.
Environmental allergies refer to the immune system’s overreaction when exposed to everyday surroundings at home, work, or outdoors. Environmental allergies are commonly classified as indoor (perennial) allergies and outdoor (seasonal) allergies.
- Outdoor allergens can be pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, and ragweed, and spores from mold. Each of these differs depending on the time of year.
- Indoor allergens include mold, dust mite and cockroach droppings, and animal dander. They are present year-round and can be more harmful than outdoor allergens.
Some allergens can be indoor and outdoor-related. For example, mold is a common allergy found in both places.
Signs and Symptoms of Allergies
If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, it may be allergy-related:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Stuffy nose
Test for Indoor and Outdoor Allergies
The Home Test Box Indoor and Outdoor Allergy Test measures your body’s IgE antibody reactivity to 40 common indoor and outdoor allergens, including different types of grasses, trees, weeds, mold, pet dander, pests, and dust mites.