Sunday, February 18, 2024

How Do You Know You Have Allergies

How To Tell The Difference

How To Tell Whether You’re Sick Or Just Have Allergies

Asking certain questions can help someone determine whether symptoms are due to an allergy or a cold:

  • How quickly did symptoms appear? Symptoms tend to come on gradually over a day or two when a cold is the cause. When symptoms come on suddenly out of nowhere, they are more likely to be caused by an allergy.
  • How long have symptoms been present? Symptoms of a cold tend to taper off after a week or two. Allergy symptoms may last while exposure to the triggering allergen is still in the air.
  • Do symptoms occur at predictable times? If symptoms tend to occur at the same time every year, they can be due to seasonal allergies.
  • Do symptoms include itchy or watery eyes or eczema? Certain symptoms tend to occur more frequently with allergies as opposed to colds.

You Seem To Always Have A Combination Of Frustrating Symptoms Like A Stuffy Nose And Itchy Skin

Dr. Bora Kim, DO at ENT and Allergy Associates who is board-certified in allergy and immunology, told INSIDER that some people with allergies report always having a sore throat, stuffy nose, itchy skin, or headaches whereas others might have a dry cough or dyspnea that comes and goes.

She said each symptom by itself may not signify you have an allergy but, if you are experiencing multiple symptoms at once for an extended period of time, you might want to talk to your doctor.

What Is A Food Intolerance

People often confuse food allergies with food intolerance. The symptoms of food intolerance can include burping, indigestion, gas, loose stools, headaches, nervousness, or a feeling of being “flushed.” But food intolerance:

  • doesn’t involve the immune system
  • can happen because a person can’t digest a substance, such as lactose
  • can be unpleasant but is rarely dangerous

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If You Feel Like You Have A Sinus Infection Or Cold That Won’t Go Away You Could Actually Be Experiencing Allergies

If you have what feels like a sinus infection or a head cold that just won’t go away with medication and antibiotics, Dr. Payam Daneshrad of Daneshrad Clinic ENT and Facial Plastic Surgerysaid you may actually be experiencing really bad allergies.

Dr. Kim also said some people with allergies also tend “to complain of recurrent upper respiratory infections,” especially during certain seasons.

How Major Food Allergens Are Listed

Clear Signs Youre Having an Allergic Reaction  Healthy Habits

FALCPA requires that food labels identify the food source names of all major food allergens used to make the food. This requirement is met if the common or usual name of an ingredient that is a major food allergen already identifies that allergens food source name . Otherwise, the allergens food source name must be declared at least once on the food label in one of two ways:

  • In parentheses following the name of the ingredient in the ingredient list.Examples: lecithin , flour , and whey


  • Immediately after or next to the list of ingredients in a contains statement.Example: Contains Wheat, Milk, and Soy.
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    What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma

    Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath are among the most common asthma symptoms. In severe flare-ups, you may also feel tightness in your chest.

    Unlike other respiratory conditions, asthma symptoms tend to flare up when youre exposed to triggers, such as:

    • allergens that irritate the airways and cause inflammation
    • exercise that can put stress on the airways and lead to inflammation
    • cold weather conditions that constrict the airways

    Symptoms also tend to get worse when youre trying to sleep at night.

    Asthma refers to airway constriction and inflammation, but there are also different subtypes to consider.

    Note What Time Allergy Symptoms Occur

    Noting the time span and exact time you have these allergic reactions can help you discover the cause. A cold generally lasts between five to seven days. If allergy symptoms last for more than two weeks or for months at a time, you may have a seasonal allergy.

    If your symptoms worsen during the spring or fall, when pollen counts are higher, then you are more likely to have a seasonal allergy. If you have allergic reactions around the clock, you should check to see if there are allergens in your environment like dust mites.

    Read Also: Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance

    Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

    Seasonal colds and cases of the flu may increase your risk of developing a URTI. People with asthma are also more prone to these types of infections.

    But having a URTI doesnt automatically mean you have asthma. While both conditions may lead to coughing, a URTI can also result in the following symptoms:

    Food Allergies At Any Age

    7 Signs You Have Allergies Not a Cold | Health

    Undiagnosed food allergies or sensitivities is a hot topic in health circles from dairy to gluten to legumes, there’s always a new thing to worry about.

    True allergies to foods can develop at any age, Dr. Fineman said. “I think that in kids we tend to see probably a higher percentage of food allergies than we do in adults … but I don’t want to say that adults are less likely to develop something,” he said. The most common culprits in all ages are peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish, according to

    All of these foods can cause potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis, so if you’ve ever had such a reaction, you should visit an allergist to find out exactly what you’re allergic to, Dr. Fineman said. Non-anaphylactic allergic reactions can develop at any age, too.

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    How To Know If You Have Spring Allergies

    Spring is here. Youve been waiting all winter long for the sun to shine and the flowers to bloom. Unfortunately, now that its here you cant enjoy it. Youve had a runny nose and itchy eyes since the snow started to melt. Its possible that you might have a cold, but it could also be seasonal allergies. How do you know it’s allergies and not a cold? If it is allergies, is there anything you can do to alleviate your symptoms? Find out below.

    Treatment For Shellfish And Fish Allergies

    The only current treatment for food allergies is to avoid the food that causes your allergy. Even if you are careful, it is difficult to avoid all contact with a specific food.

    If you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction and you have been prescribed an adrenaline injector , the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy recommends that you have an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis specific to the brand of injector you have been prescribed.If you are not at high risk, and have not been prescribed an adrenaline injector, ASCIA recommends that you have an ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions.To help with food avoidance, people with food allergies need to become familiar and comfortable with reading food labels. ASCIA has fact sheets to help you understand how to read food labels and what to avoid if you have a shellfish or fish allergy.Inaccurate diagnosis can lead to expensive and ineffective treatments, and unnecessary food avoidance that can lead to malnutrition and food aversion, especially in children. Always speak to your doctor or a clinical immunology/allergy specialist about your food allergy diagnosis and treatment options.

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    Signs You May Have Undiagnosed Allergies

    If you’ve never had allergies before, but are suffering through a runny nose, congestion or sinus pain, it could be that allergies are to blame.

    Seasonal allergies, including reactions to the ragweed and tree pollen that fills the air, can strike at any point in your life.

    “I think generally allergies have been misdiagnosed, or under-diagnosed, so people can definitely be walking around with an allergy and not know it,” Stanley Fineman, M.D., of the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, told “What happens is that, sometimes, people can have symptoms of nasal congestion or breathing problems, and may not know that an allergic sensitivity is triggering it.”

    Another issue is that those who suspect they might have the seasonal sniffles avoid treatment because they fear treatment side effects, Michael G. Stewart, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chairman, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, told “They suffer through the symptoms which is not a good thing.”

    The consequences of walking around with untreated congestion and other symptoms can be more than just unpleasant you can wind up with all kinds of other health symptoms.

    For signs you or a family member have an allergy without your knowledge, read on.

    About Shellfish And Fish Allergies

    What You Need to Know about Anaphylaxis and EpiPens

    Allergies to shellfish and fish are more common in adults and adolescents than in young children. It is estimated that one in every 100 people has a seafood allergy.

    The types of seafood that can cause allergies include scaly fish and shellfish, including molluscs and crustaceans .

    Symptoms of fish or shellfish allergies vary and range from mild reactions to a severe allergic reaction . The most common symptom is raised red bumps of skin . Other symptoms include wheezing and trouble breathing, cramps, nausea or vomiting.

    The best way to manage a shellfish or fish allergy is to avoid all food containing the species to which you are allergic.

    Food allergies can be life threatening. If you, or someone in your care, have a severe allergic reaction , call triple zero for an ambulance. Administer an injection of adrenaline into the outer mid-thigh. The person having the reaction should not stand or walk. Further doses of adrenaline may be given if there is no response after 5 minutes. Give adrenaline first, then asthma reliever puffer, if required.

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    Question 5 Of : What Are The Most Common Types Of Allergies

  • There are four major types of allergies. Typically, people are allergic to something in their environment, food, insect stings, or medications. You may be allergic to one or more items within these categories, as well.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Environmental allergies can include seasonal allergies to pollen, perennial allergies to things like mold and pet dander, and contact allergies that lead to skin irritation.XResearch source
  • Food allergies can occur when you eat a certain food, although if they’re severe, they might be triggered when you simply touch or breathe in that item.XResearch source
  • Insect allergies typically only occur when you are bitten or stung by the insect you’re allergic to.XResearch source
  • Medication allergies can occur with both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, but they are not the same as side effects from taking medication.XResearch source
  • Allergy Tests Without A Doctors Exam Usually Are Not Reliable

    Many drugstores and supermarkets offer free screenings. And you can even buy kits to test for allergies yourself at home. But the results of these tests may be misleading.

    • The tests may say you have an allergy when you do not. This is called a false positive.
    • These free tests and home tests for food allergies are not always reliable.

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    Symptoms Of An Allergic Reaction

    Allergic reactions usually happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.

    They can cause:

    • a runny or blocked nose
    • red, itchy, watery eyes
    • worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

    Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can occur. This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.

    Read more about the symptoms of allergies.

    Do I Have Allergies Quiz

    How to know if you have allergies or COVID

    Have you ever wondered if you have an allergy to something? Do you often suffer from runny noses, sinus problems, and headaches? Take this ‘Do I have allergies’ quiz and find out if there’s any chance of you having an allergy. So, are you ready? Let’s start this quiz then.

    • Let’s get the ball rolling! Do you regularly suffer from stomach cramps?
    • Every once in a while

    • C.& nbsp

      Rarely, depending on what I ate

  • Do you often find yourself short of breath or wheezing?
  • A.& nbsp

    Yes, all the time actually

  • Does your tongue sometimes swell up?
  • A.& nbsp

    It does, especially after eating certain foods

  • B.& nbsp

    It happens but am not sure why

  • C.& nbsp

    Once or twice, not sure what caused it

  • D.& nbsp

    My tongue has never swollen

  • 4. Do you often feel dizzy and faint?
  • Do you suffer from skin conditions, such as eczema or hives?
  • A.& nbsp

    Yes, my skin is terrible

  • B.& nbsp

    I get an occasional breakout

  • C.& nbsp

    Not really, have once or twice in the past

  • D.& nbsp

    No, I have great skin

  • 6. Do you get regular sneezing spells?
  • A.& nbsp

    All the time, I can’t stop

  • B.& nbsp

    Only when pets are around

  • C.& nbsp

    Only when I have a cold

  • How often do you have a stuffy/runny nose?
  • A few times a year

  • C.& nbsp

    Whenever I have a cold, once or twice a year maybe?

  • What about coughing fits, do you get them often?
  • A.& nbsp

    All the time, so frustrating

  • B.& nbsp

    They creep up on me from time to time

  • C.& nbsp

    Quite often when I’m sick

  • D.& nbsp

    Not really, except for rare occasions I have a chest infection

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    How You Can Tell The Difference Between Cold And Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

    With both allergies and colds, its typical to have congestion or a runny nose, and to sneeze often. You may also feel tired and drowsy. But there are several other symptoms that dont often overlap between allergies and a cold. Here are some of the telltale differences between cold symptoms and allergy symptoms.

    Talking About The Weather

    What’s the spring allergy outlook where you live? Will sudden temperature changes trigger an asthma flare? Weather can play a key role in asthma and allergy symptoms and flu transmission. We partnered with Weather Trends International to provide weather forecasting and analysis for people with asthma and allergies.

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    You Constantly Catch Colds Or Ear Infections

    A chronically stuffed nose can make you more susceptible to viral infection, Dr. Stewart said. Sinus infections in particular are a concern. “Many of those patients think that they have chronic sinus infections,” he said, ” what they really have is chronic allergic inflammation causing congestion or blockage.”

    In kids, seasonal sneezing and nasal symptoms can lead to ear infections, as an example, thanks to the connection between the middle ear and the nose, Dr. Stewart said.

    Keep A Record Of Your Symptoms

    How To Know If You Have Celiac Disease Or Gluten Intolerance

    Diagnosing an allergy can be difficult. If you think you or a child in your care may have an allergy, keeping a record of symptoms can help you and your doctor to understand what is causing them.Your diary could include information about whether the symptoms occur:

    • inside your home, outside or both
    • for a short time or longer
    • at night, during the day or when you wake up
    • after you have had a particular food or drink
    • after you have taken a particular medication, either prescription or over the counter from a pharmacy or supermarket
    • after you have taken a herbal medicine.

    Also Check: Can Allergies Make You Short Of Breath

    How Does An Allergic Reaction Occur

    When you come in contact with the same allergen later, the body is ready to respond with its protective IgE antibodies for that allergen. The antibodies attach themselves to white blood cells called mast cells that line the mucous membrane of the nose, eyes and lungs and cause inflammation. Cilia, the tiny hairs that trap and sweep allergens out of the way, become bogged down with mucus and fluid and allergy symptoms appear.

    What Types Of Tests Do Doctors Use To Diagnose Allergies

    Skin Prick Test

    Skin testing can confirm many common types of allergies. In some cases, skin tests can be the most accurate and least expensive way to confirm allergens. For prick/scratch testing, the doctor or nurse places a small drop of the possible allergen on the skin. They will then lightly prick or scratch your skin with a needle through the drop. If you are sensitive to the substance, you will develop redness, swelling and itching at the test site within 15 minutes. You may also see a wheal, or raised, round area, that looks like a hive. Usually, the larger the wheal, the more likely you are to be allergic to the allergen.

    It is important to know:

    • A positive skin test result does not by itself diagnose an allergy.
    • A positive skin test does not predict the severity of an allergic reaction.
    • A negative skin test usually means you are not allergic.

    Intradermal Skin Test

    In intradermal testing, the doctor or nurse injects a tiny amount of allergen into the outer layer of skin. The doctor checks your skin after a set amount of time for results, like with the skin prick test. Doctors may use this test if the skin prick test results are negative but they still suspect you have allergies. A doctor may use this test for diagnosing drug or venom allergy. At this time, there are very few indications for intradermal skin testing for food allergy.

    Blood Tests

    Physician-Supervised Challenge Tests

    Patch Test

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    Emergency Treatment For Severe Allergic Reactions

    If you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction , carry an adrenaline injector such as an EpiPen® or Anapen®, your ASCIA Action Plan and a means of calling for medical assistance, such as a mobile telephone.Emergency responses for a severe allergic reaction are:

    • Lay the person flat do not allow them to stand or walk.
    • Administer adrenaline with an injector .
    • Always dial triple zero to call an ambulance in a medical emergency.
    • Further doses of adrenaline may be given if there is no response after 5 minutes.
    • Give adrenaline first, then asthma reliever puffer, if required.

    If you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction, make sure you:

    • Have an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.
    • Carry an adrenaline injector to treat a severe allergic reaction.
    • Consider wearing medical identification jewellery this increases the likelihood that adrenaline will be administered in an emergency.
    • Avoid medication that may increase the severity of allergic reaction or complicate its treatment such as beta blockers.
    • Avoid the food to which you are allergic.
    • Tell food staff about your allergy when eating out.
    • Seek medical advice from a doctor or a clinical immunology/allergy specialist.

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