The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments of Allergies and Asthma

Common Allergy Triggers

The world is unfortunately full of dozens of types of allergens -- substances that trigger allergic reactions in the body. These include:

Pollen: This fine, reproductive "powder" from vegetation, which travels easily on a light breeze, is a common allergy trigger. The pollen that usually results in allergy symptoms comes from different trees, grasses, and weeds. In early spring, tree pollen (oak, elm, birch, hickory, polar, maple, and walnut trees) accounts for most of the pollen activity. Pollen from timothy, Bermuda grass, orchard grass, and blue trees strikes in late spring and early summer. Ragweed, sagebrush, tumbleweed, and cockleweed pollen can irritate your child from late summer to early fall.

Generally, the pollen season lasts from February or March through October. But weather conditions can cause variations by region. Pollen counts are usually lower on rainy, wet days and higher on hot, dry, and windy days when the spores can travel more easily through the air.

Mold spores: These are another pesky problem for children with allergies. They're found almost everywhere -- in soil, vegetation, attics, basements, carpets, refrigerators, and more. Mold spores also travel by air and start appearing after the spring thaw. They're present almost year-round, but are especially prevalent in July in warm areas and in October in the cooler states.

Dust mites: These tiny creatures that live in bed linens and your sofa are another big cause of allergies in children.

Pet dander: Many kids also suffer from allergic reactions to the dry skin that flakes off the family cat or dog.

Food: Foods such as peanuts, eggs, and wheat are common allergy triggers.

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