Allergies are classified by their source (like food allergies) or the part of the body they affect (like skin allergies). Some allergies last all year, including those to food, medicines, latex, dust mites, insect stings, and animal dander. Other allergies, like hay fever, are seasonal. From spring to fall, plants reproduce by spreading pollen through the air. In people with hay fever, pollen irritates the immune system, triggering a host of allergy symptoms.
Nasal allergies, including hay fever, can irritate the eyes, nose, roof of the mouth, and throat. Some culprits are:
Animal dander, which are dead skin cells from animals.
Dust mites, which are microscopic insects that live in household dust, even in tidy homes. Dust mites have to have conditions of warmth and humidity to thrive.
Mold spores from fungi are spores that thrive indoors in damp areas, such as basements and bathrooms. They also gather outside in warm climates and in leaf piles.
Pollen is a fine powdery substance released by trees and plants, including ragweed, grasses, and hay. Flowering plants (like roses), usually do not cause allergy symptoms. Their pollen is too large to be carried by wind.
False irritants, like tobacco, smoke, and perfumes, can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, but they are not allergens.
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