World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day
          Allergy Article

                   Allergies and Allergy Treatments

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Allergies Causes & Treatments

by Terry Lowery

Copyright 2005

There are many causes of allergies. Some people are allergic to

foods such as nuts, chocolate, and shellfish, some to medicines.

Some suffer from allergies to animal dander such as cats, some

from seasonal allergies such as pollen in the springtime or

ragweed in the late summer and fall. Some allergies bring on

contact dermatitis in the form of hives or eczema.

The one thing all these allergies have in common is that there

is no cure for any of them. Aside from allergies that are

severe or bothersome enough to warrant allergy shots

(immunotherapy) most people treat their allergy symptoms as

they develop with over the counter antihistamines and


75% of Americans who suffer from allergies are allergic to

ragweed. Ragweed is the late summer early fall equivalent of

springtime allergies, both are brought on by pollination of

flowers. Most medical professionals suggest an over the counter

decongestant or antihistamine to treat the symptoms associated

with seasonal allergies.

15% of Americans suffer from allergies to cats and/or dogs.

There are ways to lessen the symptoms. Keep animals off of beds

or any upholstered furniture as dander (the actual allergen from

the skin of animals) can be transferred this way. Room purifiers

will help remove the airborne dander. If possible remove any

wall to wall carpeting. Linoleum, ceramic tile or wood flooring

are best in a home with an allergy or asthma sufferer. A vacuum

with a HEPA filer will help to further trap dander in

carpeting. Pets can be washed weekly with shampoo formulated to

remove dander.

It is said that 11 million Americans suffer from some type of

food allergy. The symptoms of food allergy range from tingling

in the mouth to swelling of the tongue and throat to more

severe reactions that can actually result in death.

In the case of a food allergy it is best to have allergy

testing performed by a professional. Some with food allergies

suffer the risk of an unbalanced diet due to the need to avoid

certain types of food. It is suggested that working with a

nutritionist to create a sound and healthy diet is best. Some

childhood food allergies go away with age. However, allergies

to peanuts, fish, shellfish and nuts are considered lifetime


Skin allergies, or contact dermatitis is generally avoided by

avoiding the allergen. Contact dermatitis can be caused by many

different things and can be related to seasonal pollen allergy,

animal allergy or food allergies. Most outbreaks of contact

dermatitis result in skin outbreaks and hives which can be

treated with over the counter antihistamines and topical


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