• 戴孟庭

An allergic reactions caused by ‘inhalant’ cannot be ignored

Updated: Apr 24

Dai Mang Ting, HK BioTek Nutritionist

Are you often troubled by the following symptoms?

  • Runny nose

  • Reflux

  • Stuffy nose

  • Sneezing

  • Headache

  • Long-term coughing

  • Itchy eyes

  • Asthma

Basically, the more symptoms you suffer, you may need to be more aware of the problems caused by inhalants.


Foods can trigger an allergic reaction. Except for ‘food allergen’, some inhaled substance, which is also known as the inhalant such as pollen, dust mites, pet’s dander, etc. may also cause allergic reactions. An inhalant can enter the body through our respiratory tract, causing allergic reactions. Mold and dust mites easily grow in humid and warm environments, especially in spring. Thus, they tend to be one of the common inhalants.


Common symptoms caused by inhalants include:

  • asthma, colds, recurrent sinusitis, runny nose, allergic rhinitis, snoring, long-term coughing, etc.

In Hong Kong, the most common inhalant around us is dust mites. According to research, the symptoms caused by dust mites include asthma, allergic rhinitis, and allergic dermatitis. Among those symptoms, around 90% are suffered from asthma, and the other two are 70% and 30% respectively. Other inhaled allergens such as pet dander, mold, and cockroaches, as well as allergens from the environment such as plants, and pollen may also trigger allergic reactions.


An allergic reaction is an overreaction of the human body when exposed to an allergen that triggers a reaction such as food or inhalant. Thus, it is critical to understand suspected allergens in your body by avoiding those exposures and keeping the environment clean and dry. Most importantly, avoiding those exposures can reduce the chances of allergic reactions occur effectively.


Here are some tips to stay away from suspected inhalants:

  • Indoor: You should avoid these substances and remove them when possible. Keep work and household environment clean and dry.

  • Grass, Weeds & Tree: You should avoid these plants. If possible, stay away from the country-sides. Avoid planting at home and reduce the pollen in the air. Air purifiers and vacuum cleaners can also be used to reduce allergens in indoor air.

  • Molds: You should avoid these molds and their source. Keep changing towels, bedsheets, and quilt covers. Keep work and household environment clean and dry.

Apart from the methods mentioned above, allergy tests can be applied to find out the suspected allergens for early prevention and treatment.


References:

  1. Inhalant Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.

  2. Naclerio, R., & Solomon, W. (1997). Rhinitis and inhalant allergens. Jama, 278(22), 1842-1848.

  3. The Food Sensitivity Handbook.

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