Allergy Tips

The Most Common Allergy Triggers

Do you want to know what causes allergies and what preventive measures you have? Read on to find out more!

There are countless allergy triggers. The following are the best known:

  • Genetic preload
  • Smoking / tobacco smoke
  • Molds
  • Pollutants in the room air
  • House dust / dust mites
  • House pets / Animals
  • Exaggerated hygiene
  • Contact with other children

Genetic preload

The tendency to allergies is an aspect of health that is inheritable. Children with a parent or sibling suffer from allergies are at an increased risk of allergies1. If both parents are allergy sufferers, the risk of the child increases.

However, this is no cause for concern: Increased risk does not mean that your child will inevitably develop an allergy later on. The sooner you know whether your child is actually at risk of allergies, the sooner and more effectively you can prevent it. It is best to discuss it with your pediatrician or during pregnancy with your gynecologist. A so-called family history, where your doctor collects all relevant information about illnesses, is currently the best way to predict a possible allergy.

Smoking / tobacco smoke

Smoking and secondhand smoke are not only harmful to the lungs and the respiratory tract, the tobacco smoke also promotes the development of allergies, especially allergic asthma (bronchial asthma). Prevent both parents from smoking during pregnancy and after childbirth, and preferably provide a smoke-free environment outside their own home.

Mold

An allergy can be triggered by spores of a mold2. In case of mucous membrane contact, ie after inhalation or consumption, the allergic person reacts with colds, coughing and sneezing. Unfortunately mold fungi are present almost everywhere. They grow best where it is moist and warm and organic nutrients are available: on food, wallpaper, upholstery and curtains, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, basement and garden. You can prevent it by blasting vigorously several times a day to ensure a cool (not cold) and dry indoor climate. Constantly tilted windows, heavy curtains in front of the windows or many indoor plants increase the humidity and promote the growth of mold. A good investment is the purchase of a humidity meter that is able to indicate if the room humidity reaches a critical value.

Pollutants in the room air

Pollutants in the home can increase the risk of allergies through the indoor air. When buying new furniture and floor coverings, but also when buying paints, varnishes or cleaning agents, it is best to pay attention to the information on environmental compatibility. Regular airing in the apartment helps to minimise the burden of indoor pollutants. 

House dust / dust mites

The house dust allergy is triggered by mites3, or rather the fecal particles of these arachnids, which mix with the dust in the household. Dusts are simply part of our lives and are not harmful to healthy people. However, they are the most common indoor allergen and can cause the allergic respiratory disease asthma (bronchial asthma) or atopic dermatitis. The normal house cleaning with vacuuming, airing, wiping the floors and regular washing of bed linen and stuffed animals is usually sufficient.

House Pets / Animals

Animal hair allergy, in addition to pollen and house dust mite allergy, is one of the most common types of allergies and can lead to atopic dermatitis or asthma4. The name "animal hair allergy" is misleading: Allergy-causing is not the animal hair itself, but animal foreign matter, such as from the saliva or the sweat of the animals. If you are considering the purchase of an animal, it is best to consult with your doctor or pediatrician if you have a familial allergy risk. If there are no allergies in your family, nothing speaks against the pet attitude.

Exaggerated hygiene

Even if it sounds paradoxical: too much hygiene can promote the development of allergies in children. There are fewer allergic diseases worldwide in regions with lower standards of hygiene than in western industrialized countries. The reason: A strong immune system needs training at a young age. It has to have the chance to get to know and to deal with a wide variety of exogenous substances from an early stage. This also explains why children who live in close contact with animals or on a farm seem less prone to allergies. Playing in the dirt obviously makes it less susceptible to overreaction of the immune system. The best prevention is not to overdo it when cleaning your home - contact with natural environmental germs, bacteria and other agents requires and promotes the immune system. Therefore, by allowing child to be exposed to the world would help to build their immune system.

Contact with other children

In order for the immune system to develop healthily, it requires the encounter with bacteria and other pathogens. Bring your child together with other children as often as possible. Being exposed to the outdoors in nature and in the fresh air, where it is exposed depending on the season in addition to the flight of various pollen will help. The foundation for a strong immune defense is laid in early stage of life - for a whole life. 


A strong immune system can better ward off allergies. Did you know that the early age of life is crucial for the formation of the body's immune system? Of great importance is the diet of your child, because it can help him to build a healthy immune system.


References:

1.    Malaysia Allergy Prevention (MAP) Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals. 2014. Appendix 2: Family History of Allergies & Risk Grading, page 26.

2.    Allergy UK. (n.d.). Improving Your Indoor Air Quality. Retrieved from https://www.allergyuk.org/information-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/320-improving-your-indoor-air-quality

3.    American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. (2018). Dust Allergy. Retrieved from https://acaai.org/allergies/types/dust-allergy

4.    European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation. (2016). Animal Hair Allergy. Retrieved from https://www.ecarf.org/en/information-portal/allergies-overview/animal-hair-allergy/

 

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