Allergies occur when a person is hypersensitive to something in the environment, causing their immune system to perceive the substance as harmful and therefore overreact to it. Symptoms vary in degree depending on the seriousness of the allergy, but often include a runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, a rash, swelling and trouble breathing. Common allergens include pollen, dust, cats and dogs, different foods and drugs, latex, and insect stings. A recent survey of U.S. adults found that around 56 percent stated they themselves or someone in their household were concerned with or treating environmental allergies as of 2021.
Types of allergies
A survey from 2021 revealed that the most common allergies among U.S adults were pollen allergies, including grass and seasonal allergies, followed by drug allergies and mold allergies. Seasonal allergies, commonly known as hay fever, are more common in the spring and summer but can be experienced year-round. Seasonal allergies can be worse in certain regions depending on the climate, weather, altitude, and flora. In 2022, the U.S cities that were rated the worst for seasonal allergies were Scranton, Pennsylvania, Wichita, Kansas, and McAllen, Texas. The best way to avoid allergies is to identify allergens and then take steps to avoid them. However, when allergens cannot be avoided medication can help to reduce symproms. Popular allergy medications include antihistamine pills, nasal sprays, and eye drops.
Allergies are often associated with asthma as the same substances can trigger both allergies and asthma. There is even a type of asthma known as allergic asthma that is triggered by an allergy, for example pollen or mold. In 2019, around 7.8 percent of the U.S. population currently had asthma. Rates of asthma are highest among those aged 15 to 39 years, with around 8.9 percent of those in this age group reporting they currently suffer from asthma. Although asthma attacks are relatively common among those who suffer from asthma and can be a terrifying experience, medication can effectively prevent and treat attacks. In 2020, the death rate from asthma in the United States was just around one per 100,000 population for both males and females.
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