New Yorkers have their fair share of health worries they need to focus on. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity- all of these problems can have serious negative consequences, but there’s one health problem that’s common in the city that some people aren’t aware of: allergies. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, there has been in a rise in the prevalence of allergic diseases in the industrialized world over the past 50 years. Food, insects, pollen, medication, you name it and it’s almost guaranteed that someone is allergic to it.
New Yorkers are in a particularly interesting environment that is filled to the brim with allergens, and there are thousands of people who are wondering if their itchy nose and watery eyes are just a cold or something more serious. New York Presbyterian Hospital has a handy list of common triggers of allergy attacks, and if you’ve been sneezing more than usual the reason why could be on it. If you’re wondering if you have a cold that won’t go away or an allergy, these common triggers could be the cause of your problems.
New York City is full of people, and a lot of those people have furry friends sharing living space with them. Dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, all of those animals are cute and cuddly, and they can also set off your allergies. Furry animals are cause of a lot of allergies, but you don’t need to have a mammal as a pet to have animal allergies. Most allergic relations are caused by a protein certain animals produce, and that protein can be found in the oil glands in the skin, dander, urine, or even saliva. Sometimes you don’t even have to have a pet to have animal allergies. If your apartment building is pet friendly, your neighbors could be spreading your allergen around.
New York City is full of old buildings, and a lot of those old buildings don’t just contain history and good memories. Mold is problem that many landlords and renters deal with in all of the five boroughs, and those mold spores could be causing your allergic reactions. Sometimes mold be can growing in your home without you noticing. Mold can grow anywhere where there’s an abundance of moisture and an absence of light, so they have plenty of places they can grow undetected in your home. Don’t just check for mold around your bathrooms and basement. Look in your fridge, on your houseplants, and even your AC units and humidifiers. It doesn’t take a lot of mold to cause an allergic reaction, so make sure that you take care of even the smallest moldy areas you see.
Have you been experiencing the symptoms of having allergies, but still have yet to be diagnosed with a specific allergen? You may not have allergies, it’s possible that you have a chemical sensitivity. Chemical sensitivity isn’t considered an allergy because it’s doesn’t involve the release of immunoglobin E, antibodies, histamine, or other chemicals that are typically released by the immune system during an allergic reaction. Chemical sensitivity may not be a true allergic reaction, but many of the people that have it experience the symptoms that are commonly associated with allergies (itchy nose, watery eyes, trouble breathing, hives). People who have chemical sensitivity may be reacting to chemicals found in synthetic materials that are found in carpeting, paint, or plastics, or even by chemicals found in perfumes and deodorants. Chemical sensitivity is a relatively new phenomenon, so you should try to find an allergy doctor in NYC that specifically states that they treat people with chemical sensitivities.