More people around the world are suffering from allergies than ever before and there does not seem to be an end to this growth in sight. It has been estimated that 55% of all Americans test positive for one or more allergens. That is a staggeringly high number. The reason for this increase is also debated among the scientific community and reasons from our environment being too polluted to our homes being too clean have been postulated. So what are the three most common allergies that are affecting people?
· No surprises here that Pollen is on top of the list. Pollen is produced by trees and grasses everywhere and is released into the air so that it can spread their genes far and wide helping them reproduce.
· Trees have an evolutionary advantage at disseminating pollen in large numbers and do so everywhere. It is impossible to escape it.
· Pollen from almost any tree can cause an allergic reaction however the most commonly implicated ones include Ash, Aspen, Beech, Birch, Cedar, Elm, Oak, Pecan and Willow.
· Some things that can you help combat this allergy is to get tested and avoid contact with the trees that trigger your allergies. Know when the pollen counts will be high and avoid venturing outside. Wear a mask if you must. Anti-allergic medication and shots will also help.
2. Dust mites
· These are tiny creatures that you cannot see but are responsible for the allergy you may be having. They prefer warm and humid temperature and feast on dead skin that is shed from humans and animals.
· These creatures basically pick up on things like cockroach skin, pet dander, saliva and then come in contact with your body which ends up acting out in an allergic reaction. Dust mites are found most commonly inside mattresses, pillows and other furniture.
· You can try and fight these little critters by cleaning them out, using hypo allergenic mattresses and pillows filled with polyester instead of feathers or cotton. All your bedding should ideally be soaked and washed in warm water once a week to kill the dust mites.
· Mold follows the common theme here of being present almost everywhere. This is a fungus which loves dark, moist spaces. It breaks down plant and animal matter for its nutrients. All of us are exposed to some amount of Mold ever day however it causes an allergic reaction when people sensitive to it are exposed to it in large numbers.
· Mold spores are commonly found on food articles as greenish discoloration and can trigger off an allergic reaction if ingested; however the most common method for their spread is via tiny mold spores released in the air.
· Avoiding exposure to mold can be near impossible so people who have a demonstrated allergy to mold should avoid certain food articles like cheese, mushrooms, sour cream, meat or fish that has been stored for a long time and other canned food in general. Travelling in the continent can bring you in contact with a number of allergens so having an EHIC will help you in case of an emergency.