10 Things You Didn’t Know About Allergies

All the expert advice you need, to manage your allergies and prevent triggers

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Allergic reactions like watery eyes and dribbling nose are the last things you want to see, especially when you’re en route to your dream destination.

As such, we’ve gathered useful tips from Dr. Leong Jern Lin, Consultant Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon of ASCENT Ear Nose Throat Specialist Group, to help you manage and prevent allergies.

Here are 10 things you may not know about allergies:

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1. It’s more common than you think

Globally, over 400 million suffer from symptoms of allergies such as dripping noses, itchy eyes and uncontrollable sneezing.

In Singapore, allergies remain a common and recurring problem — mostly a result of our warm and humid climate that makes it conducive for its growth.

2. They can have different triggers

Allergic diseases can be caused by a number of common triggers.

According to recent local consumer research conducted by GSK earlier this year, over half of respondents attributed the cause of such allergies to triggers like tropical weather patterns, dust mites, pet hair, air conditioning and even the haze. One study found that a dominant allergy trigger is the house dust mite.

3. Allergies and the common cold are different

Allergies and the common cold can often be confused with one another as their symptoms are very similar. However, taking note of how long the symptoms last is one big clue.

A cold typically lasts three to 14 days, but allergies can persist for days to months as long as you’re in proximity with the allergy trigger. Cold symptoms also usually take a few days to appear after infection, but allergic symptoms can start immediately after contact with the trigger.

4. Allergies aren’t always harmless

Untreated allergies can have a huge impact on quality of life — affecting sleep and causing fatigue. Untreated allergies can also worsen other chronic respiratory problems such as asthma.

5. People don’t always outgrow their allergies

Children hardly outgrow their allergic rhinitis symptoms. 8 in 10 children diagnosed with allergic rhinitis will still have trouble 10 years later.

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