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5 Most Common Allergens in the Philippines

My Doctor Finder
April 03, 2016

Allergies are one of the most common chronic conditions worldwide. It may be common but it should be taken care of for allergies can be risky and lethal.

According to the leading experts in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology, a person's allergy starts on the immune system. The immune system fights and protects our bodies to organisms that causes illness. The substance which causes the allergies is called an allergen. It is when the immune system mistakes an otherwise harmful substance as an invader. The immune system overreacts to the allergen by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E(IgE) which will help the antibodies to travel to cells which will eventually release histamine and other chemicals that's causing the allergic reaction.

It is easy to spot the warning signs of a building allergy. Such symptoms typically triggers in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach, or on the skin. Do take note that such symptoms if not treated may lead to asthma, and eventually build to a serious case that has a life-threatening reaction called Anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic reactions mostly come from foods, insect stings, medications and latex. The most common allergens include:

    • Pollen
    • Dust
    • Food
    • Insect stings
    • Animal dander
    • Mold
    • Medications
    • Latex

The allergens stated above may or may not be present depending on someone's area. The most common allergens that can detected in the Philippines are as follows:

    • Molds - Molds can be found in moist, dim, damp and warm places. It can grow specifically on bathrooms, basements, logs, and leaves as well. It usually occur in warmer months specifically during the summer. But, if your house is mold-infested, it can persist all-year round. Clearing up mold and preventing mold growth is effective to avoid it.
    • Dust mites - Microscopic critters, which loves warmth and humidity just like molds, are usually found on cushiony household articles like beds, fabrics, plush toys, pet fur, and carpets. Dust mites usually multiply fast and die slow in the following areas so it's important to soak sheets in hot water every week and keep all nooks and crannies dust-free.
    • Pollen - These are found in trees and plants. It is easily windswept and inhaled. Pollens are responsible for seasonal allergies or hay fever. Such evergreen trees like elm, oak, maple, cypress and also pine trees shed the most amount of pollen.
    • Fish - It is a common food allergy in the Philippines. Fish comprises a significant number of allergies across the world. The Philippines has rich expanse of coastal lines which makes it more prone to this allergen. In one study of food allergies, it was found out that about 81 percent of Filipino subjects are allergic to seafood.
    • Pet dander - Dander is considered one of the common allergies coming from furry pets like cats and dogs. It is where animal saliva, urine and skin can be found. It is easily transferred to each home, even from some households which aren't pet owners. When you've gone from somewhere who has a pet make sure to shower and change as once. Regularly clean fabric covered items, it may be traced there.

If you want to know what type of allergen causes your allergies, you can immediately reach an allergist, also called as an immunologist. An allergist has the expertise to properly diagnose the condition and prescribe an allergy treatment and management plan to help you feel better and live better. You can do also essential first aid for yourself to make sure about what happened to you.

Reference:
The Philippine Star. (2001, September 3). More Filipinos are suffering from allergies, says. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com/science-and-technology/132419/more-filipinos-are-suffering-allergies-says

Cabrera-Morales, E.A., et. al. (2012). A population-based study of fish allergy in the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. PubMed.gov. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22846665