Stop for a second to take a look around. No matter where you are at the moment, chances are that at least one person close to you has some kind of allergy. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease, and more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Here are 17 allergy symptoms in disguise that you shouldn’t overlook.
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17 allergy symptoms that you did not know and should not ignore.
But just like any other health condition, it’s not always easy to detect when an allergy attack occurs. Typical allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose and watery eyes, are often mistaken for a cold or flu, and people don’t always know how to spot less common and more serious symptoms, such as headaches, swollen tongue and hearing loss. In this article, we’ll summarize some of the most commonly overlooked allergy symptoms that people should pay attention to.
If you find yourself suffering from headaches on a weekly or even daily basis and can’t figure out why, you may have your allergies to blame. Allergies that start in the nose often end up affecting the head as well.
Allergies cause inflammation and swelling of the sinuses and nasal passages. When this happens, there is an increased production of mucus, which then fills the sinuses. This accumulation of fluid leads to headaches.
In patients with severe food allergies, constipation is one of the most common symptoms. This is especially the case with young children. According to a study approximately 73 percent of children under the age of three who visited a Polish hospital for constipation from 1998 to 2008 were later diagnosed with an allergy to proteins in cow’s milk.
Because allergies cause swelling in the nasal passages, sufferers often breathe through their mouths while sleeping and, as a result, experience losses in quality oxygen intake throughout the night.
People with allergies wake up often, whether they realize it or not, and wake up in the morning not feeling rested. The sleep disruptions associated with allergies are so severe, in fact, that some people who leave the condition untreated end up developing sleep apnea.
4. Memory impairment.
Because the immune system is in overdrive and lack of sleep prevents the body from getting the rest it needs, it is little surprise that people with allergies often face bouts of forgetfulness and memory problems. Constant headaches and poor sleep add up over time and make you feel like you’re not your best. Your memory is something you rely on at work, at home, and in your day-to-day life, so don’t hesitate to see a doctor if your mind starts to cloud.
5. Abdominal pain.
Stomach pain and cramps are relatively common symptoms, yet too often overlooked by food allergies. Depending on the severity of the allergy, most doctors recommend that people with a food allergy limit their intake of such foods or avoid them altogether, and if they do not follow these recommendations, they are at risk of anaphylactic shock. which can be fatal.
Rashes like eczema can often be triggered by allergies. Allergens like pet dander and dust mite are especially triggers for people with eczema, and about half of all eczema patients also suffer from hay fever and food allergies. If left untreated, eczema can become more serious.
Do you bring the drowsiness under your eyes that doesn’t go away no matter how long you sleep? Nasal allergies can promote swelling of the adenoids (lymphatic tissue that lines the back of the throat and extends behind the nose) and this results in a tired, sticky appearance.
8. Loss of odor.
When allergy-related nasal congestion is not treated, it can sometimes lead to anosmia or a decreased sense of smell. This deterioration is caused by chronic inflammation of the tissues and turbinate, dilation of blood vessels, and nasal congestion.
9. Dark circles.
Allergies lead to dilation of the blood vessels, which become visible under the eyes where the skin is very thin. We refer to this as allergic dark circles. You can also have a characteristic wrinkle on your nose from frequent rubbing. If you see a horizontal line just above your nostrils, you likely have allergies. While these allergic dark circles are not fatal in any way, they make patients feel less confident in their appearance. With treatment, there is no reason why you should suffer.
10. Altered sense of taste.
The sense of smell and taste tend to go hand in hand, and when you can’t smell it, it can affect or alter the sense of taste. Allergy sufferers may think that food has no taste or needs salt, heat, or spices. Not only is it frustrating, but all that excess sodium and spices can lead to unintentional overeating and serious weight gain.
11. Chest pain.
You sit down for a nice lobster dinner, and as soon as you take your first bite, you suddenly start to feel like you’re having a heart attack. The good news? Your heart is probably fine. The bad news? You likely have a severe allergic reaction to your food, one that requires immediate treatment. Other symptoms that accompany a severe allergic reaction to food include shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, weak pulse, and a feeling of “impending doom.”
If you’ve never experienced anaphylactic shock, then you may be surprised to learn that it is no different than having a panic attack. If you often experience what you think are panic attacks and don’t know exactly what the cause is, pay attention to what you are changing in your environment. What you think are panic attacks could actually be an allergy symptom in disguise – a symptom that, if left untreated, could be fatal.
13. Impaired hearing.
Accumulation of fluid through the nose and sinuses in the Eustachian tubes in the ears can reduce the spread of sound waves and reduce hearing. With treatment, your hearing will return without problems, but if you stop seeing the doctor, your ears may remain clogged for quite some time.
14. Swollen tongue.
While rare, things like food allergies and bee stings can cause a swollen tongue or angioedema. Since a swollen tongue can make breathing difficult, this symptom, regardless of whether it is the result of an allergy, should always be considered an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
15. Split lips.
Clogged nasal passages turn allergy sufferers into mouth breathers. This, in turn, dehydrates the lips and leaves them chapped, dry, and chapped. It is often one of the main allergy symptoms that doctors will see in patients who have gone undiagnosed for a long time.
16. Sore throat.
One of the most misleading allergy symptoms is an itchy sore throat. Why? Well, although most allergies are pretty straightforward, a sore, swollen throat could be a sign of a slightly more complicated condition. For some people who are allergic to ragweed, if they eat a banana, their mouth begins to itch or their throat may feel like it is swelling.
This phenomenon is called pollen or food allergy syndrome, or oral allergy syndrome, and it causes people with allergies to certain plant proteins to also experience allergies to certain fruits and vegetables. About 50 percent of adults with seasonal allergies have oral allergy syndrome, and the condition accounts for nearly 60 percent of food-related allergic reactions in adulthood.
17. One of the allergy symptoms is a hoarse voice.
If your allergy is severe enough, it can cause a constriction of the respiratory tract, which in turn causes hoarseness in your voice. Air struggles to get out of the body causing low modulations of the ligaments, and in this case, antihistamines will help eliminate the problem. Since a hoarse voice = restricted breathing, it is important that anyone experiencing hoarseness have their vocal cords checked by a doctor as soon as they can.