Allergy Awareness Week

5th – 11th June 2022

The main objective of allergy awareness week is to bring public attention to allergies and the difficulties experienced by the people who suffer from them. 

With pollen allergy in particular, people can experience a diverse range of reactions including sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, and eye irritation. However, reactions also differ from person to person based on their individual sensitivities to different types of pollen. The highly individual nature of pollen allergy can make this condition a little more complex than some might assume.

The most common allergies are:

  • Plant pollen – The tiny airborne grains released by certain types of grass, trees, and weed as part of their reproductive mechanism cause pollen allergy, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis.
  • Dust mites – These microscopic bugs live in house dust and exist by eating the dead skin cells we shed, typically residing in beddings, upholstery, and carpets. 
  • Pet dander – These tiny flakes of skin or hair often come from domesticated cats and dogs that reside inside the home. The allergic reaction occurs due to certain proteins found in the shed cells.
  • Food – Certain food items like nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs, and cow milk can trigger an immune system reaction not long after consumption, even in minuscule amounts. Symptoms include digestive problems, hives, and even life-threatening reactions like swollen airways.
  • Insect bites and stings – For some, an allergic reaction to insect-related pricks can be relatively mild, with a larger swollen skin area and more painful marks. While rarer, a severe allergic reaction can result in breathing difficulties, dizziness, and a swollen face or mouth.
  • Medicine – Certain drugs such as ibuprofen, antibiotics, and even over-the-counter medicine like aspirin can trigger an abnormal reaction in a patient’s immune system, commonly manifesting as hives, rash, or a fever.
  • Mold – Spores from these fungi can trigger coughing, itchy eyes, and other irritations. Inhaling mold spores can also cause an overreaction of the immune system, and in some people, mold allergy can trigger asthmatic reactions.
  • Household chemicals – Allergic reactions can trigger due to certain fragrances, preservatives, resins, and other chemical substances found in shampoos, soaps, laundry detergents, and even hair dyes.

Top tips to prevent allergy symptoms:

  • Avoid going outside when local pollen counts are high.
  • Close or open windows at the right times to minimize pollen presence indoors.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities when and where pollen risk is low.
  • Plan vacations and trips according to local pollen forecasts.

If you would like some advice on allergies, call in store and speak with one of our Healthcare Advisors. Our team are on hand to recommend the best OTC products for you!