MBOMBELA – With the scorching spring upon us, it is once again time for itching eyes and runny noses as hay fever is in the air. According to recent research, this is not the only allergic reaction Lowvelders, and in fact all South Africans, experience.
A recent study by Pharma Dynamics also found others among 1 772 allergy sufferers. Allergies on this list included rashes when spending too much time in the sun, an allergic reaction to air conditioners or allergies to a certain fruit, to name only
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These are likely to occur in the Lowveld as we await the sizzling summer sun. The region is also famous for its extremely hot temperatures and many people make use of air conditioning to cool down. We also have the privilege of having a lot of fruit farms here, especially citrus, to which it was found that people can be allergic.
Nicole Jennings, spokesperson at Pharma Dynamics, says even though many of these allergies only affect a small percentage of the population, it can cause a lot of discomfort and agony to sufferers.
She explains that an allergic reaction typically occurs when the body mistakenly misreads something that is harmless as
“This overreaction by the immune system leads to an allergic reaction, which can manifest as a rash, fever, headache, swelling of the mouth or affected area, wheezing, runny or stuffy nose, nausea and the like.”
Jennings also explained how every one of the above-mentioned allergies can manifest in the body.
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“Different to sunburn, a sun allergy or ‘vampire allergy’ – as it is commonly referred to – is defined as polymorphic light eruption, which can be described as sun poisoning,” she explains.
“Various degrees of sun allergies exist – some are hereditary while others develop symptoms when triggered by factors, such as medication. Mild cases usually clear up without any treatment, while more severe rashes should be seen to by a dermatologist or allergologist,” Jennings suggested.
She explains that the allergy to air conditioners, for which the greatest symptom is sneezing, can usually be attributed to the fact the filters need to be cleaned or changed.
“This needs to be done in order to prevent the spreading or reproduction of dust mites, to which many people are allergic,”Jennings said.
The allergy to fruit can also be explained.
“Fruit such as strawberries, kiwi, peach, apple, bananas and citrus are known to cause allergies, which can prove fatal in severe cases. Most often, symptoms include skin reactions, swelling of the oral cavity, asthma or rhinitis,” Jennings explains and contributed this to fact that the body has a bad reaction to certain allergens found in these fruits.
Look out for these symptoms this summer and do not leave them untreated as in some cases, they could be fatal.