What causes respiratory allergies? What causes respiratory allergies?

Learn some of the causes of respiratory allergies in order to prevent them.

According to the Allergy & Asthma Network a respiratory allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to an agent that enters the body through the respiratory system, causing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, rhinitis (inflammation causing a stuffy or runny nose) and even asthma.

A variety of allergens can trigger these reactions; the most common are dust mites, animal dander, certain foods, and being in places with low temperatures. Some reactions may be year-long, while others may occur only occasionally, such as with pollen allergies.

Other less-known triggers of different types of allergies include:

Alcoholic beverages. Consuming alcoholic beverages stimulates the blood vessels, causing the blood flow to obstruct already congested sinuses. They also increase inflammation, a response of the immune system to harmful invaders. The immune system may also already be working in high gear due to an attempt to fight off allergens such as pollen. Red wine and beer are the beverages that are most likely to trigger such a reaction as they are high in histamines, a chemical that can cause nasal drip and sneezing.

Houseplants. According to the allergy and asthma network, about 78% of people who have allergies are sensitive to at least one common indoor houseplant such as ficus (weeping fig), ivy and yucca. Freshly cut flowers that are high in pollen, such as a sunflowers or daisies, can also affect your paranasal sinuses.

Decongestants. Over-the-counter allergy medications such as oxymetazoline and loratadine – among others – can help improve the breathing of people who have respiratory allergies, as they shrink expanded blood vessels in the nasal passages. If these medications are used for more than three continuous days, however, they can be counterproductive.

Also read:  Allergies can be treated