Do you feel tired most of the time? An allergy may be to blame. Although sneezing and watery eyes are among the most well-known allergy symptoms, they're by no means the only indication that you may have an allergy. Understanding common symptoms and causes can help you determine if your problems are be caused by allergies.
What causes allergies?
Your body perceives allergens as dangerous substances, even if they're as seemingly harmless as pollen or dust. Your immune system leaps into protective mode and releases antibodies designed to protect you from the effects of the allergen. Unfortunately, the release of the antibodies triggers sneezing and other allergy symptoms.
In many cases, people assume that their symptoms can't be caused by allergies because they've never been allergic to anything in the past. Allergies can develop at any point in your life and tend to occur only after repeated exposure to an allergen.
Allergies are often triggered by:
- Fungal Spores
- Dust or Dust Mites
- Animal Dander
- Animal Dander
- Certain Foods
What are common symptoms of allergies?
If you have allergies, you may notice one or more of these symptoms:
- Runny Nose
- Red, Itchy or Watery Eyes
- Chest Tightness
- Dark Circles Under Your Eyes
How Can I Tell If It's Allergies?
If you've never had allergies before, it's easy to confuse allergy symptoms with cold symptoms. Unlike allergies, colds clear up in about 10 days. If your symptoms linger and don't improve, you may actually be suffering from allergies. Pay attention to when symptoms occur. Are they worse after you've spent the day outdoors or during the spring or fall? You may have seasonal allergies. If you're allergic to dust and mold, you may experience more intense symptoms during the winter when you spend more time indoors.
Dark circles under your eyes may not be caused by lack of sleep, but by allergies. Exposure to allergens can cause the blood vessels under your eyes to swell, which makes the area look darker than usual. Keeping a journal of your symptoms and when they appear can help you determine if you have allergies.
It's not always easy to tell if your symptoms are caused by allergies. A visit to your ear, nose and throat doctor can help you narrow down the cause of your symptoms and obtain appropriate treatment if you do happen to have allergies.