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The most common allergens

If you have itchy eyes, constant sneezing, constant sniffling and hives, spring, the main allergy season, is taking its toll.

Allergy is an overreaction of the body (the immune system) to a substance it recognises as foreign and harmful, called an allergen, which is not harmful to the majority of the population.

It is estimated that almost 14 million Spaniards suffer from some type of allergy, which represents about 30% of the population. The Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC) estimates that every year there are 2% more people affected. At this rate, by 2020 there will be more than 20 million people affected.

The most common allergens are:

Airborne (airborne):

  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Mould
  • Animal origin
  • Food-borne
  • Cow's milk
  • Eggs, the allergic reaction is usually caused by the egg whites
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Nuts and dried fruit
  • Wheat
  • Some fruits such as peach, kiwi and banana
  • Some medicines
  • Acetylsalicylic acid, penicillin, antibiotics, etc.
  • Insect poisons
  • Bee stings, wasp stings, spider stings, etc.

The most common symptoms of allergy are:

Allergic conjunctivitis: Affects the eyes. Symptoms include: tearing, itching, redness, stinging, swelling.

Allergic rhinitis: Affects the nose. Symptoms that occur: nasal congestion and discharge, itching, sneezing.

Urticaria: affects the skin. Symptoms that occur: itching, redness, inflammation or swelling.

Bronchial asthma: Affects the bronchial tubes. Symptoms that occur: coughing, wheezing, fatigue.

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