Causes of airborne allergies

Learn about the types of airborne allergies and what causes them.

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What is an allergy?

An allergy is when your immune system reacts differently to a substance it has encountered before. Allergies can range from unpleasant to life-threatening.

Airborne allergic reactions are grouped into 2 general categories.

  1. Immediate reaction is very common. People react within minutes of being exposed to the allergen. It can cause:
    • hay fever
    • allergic asthma
  2. Delayed reaction is triggered when an allergen comes into contact with your skin. The allergic reaction usually takes 2 days to become obvious. It appears as a peeling rash that looks like eczema.

What causes airborne allergies?

People can become sensitive to allergens through contact and previous exposure. People who develop an allergy are more likely to develop others.

Based on your genes, it may be easier for you to develop allergies than other people.

People can become allergic to substances found in the indoor environment, especially if the environment is:

  • dusty
  • warm
  • humid

Common allergens include house dust mites and mould.

Individuals who do not have asthma may develop allergic asthma. This asthma is triggered from being exposed to an allergen in the environment.

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