Knowing your allergic triggers can allow you to help take control of your symptoms

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a common problem and affects as many as 3 out of 10 people.1


It causes symptoms very similar to a cold, such as red and itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, and even sinus pain and tiredness. But unlike a cold, allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergy, and doesn’t usually get better after a few days of rest.
 

 
ALL ABOUT RHINITIS

WHAT CAUSES ALLERGIC RHINITIS?

Allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergic reaction, which is your body’s immune system “over-reacting” to a normally harmless substance, such as pollen, mold, or house dust mites. These substances are called allergens. Some people may react to one of these allergens, while others might be sensitive to a number of them.

Sometimes the reaction is seasonal. For instance, if you are allergic to pollen, a reaction will only happen at the time of year when that particular pollen is in the air. That’s why many people get allergic rhinitis in the spring when trees and grasses are flowering.
 

Rhinitis

   

RHINITIS IS MORE THAN THE ‘SNIFFLES’

Allergic rhinitis can seem like a persistent cold that just won’t go away. While some people’s symptoms are mild and easily controlled by over-the-counter medicine, others have a far more severe reaction, one that can have a real impact on their daily life. When you feel awful, it’s harder to perform at work, be professional, and care for your family. And it can be stressful for parents that don’t know how to help children who suffer from allergic rhinitis.2,3
 

In fact, it’s been shown that uncontrolled allergic rhinitis can lead to:

  • Increased risk of developing asthma2

  • Poorer asthma control in people with asthma (wheezing, breathlessness, nightime awakenings, limiting daily activities)3

  • Reduced physical, mental and emotional well-being3

  • Reduced sleep quality (waking up at night)4

  • Being constantly tired, and tiring easily, which leads to lowered concentration at work or school and needing more time off, all of which affects job performance or school work2

  • Reduced quality of everyday life, including social life and daily activities2

  • Irritability and social problems in children3
Hay Fever

Undertreated allergic rhinitis is a major factor in developing asthma, and it can make asthma worse.5


If your child suffers from allergies and asthma, learn how you can help take control of their asthma.

 
HOW CAN YOU TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ALLERGIES?

HOW CAN YOU TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ALLERGIES?

You may have tried taking medication or simply avoiding being outdoors when it’s pollen season, but allergies are often not that simple. That’s because there are many different substances, or allergens, that can contribute to allergic rhinitis, and this is unique from person to person.

The most common allergens behind allergic rhinitis are:5

Grass

Grass pollen

Tree

Tree pollen

Mold

Mold

Dust Mite

House dust mites

Animal

Animal dander
(cat, dog, horse)

Cockroach

Cockroach


Why don’t I have symptoms all the time?

Everyone has their own unique combination of allergic triggers and not all of them are obvious. You may be sensitized to several allergen sources, but not enough to trigger symptoms when you are exposed to only one of them. But when you encounter multiple substances you’re allergic to at the same time, they can add up and you may start experiencing symptoms,6,7 like itchy eyes or a runny nose.

Determining if you’re allergic and identifying your allergic triggers can help you stay below your symptom threshold—the point where you start experiencing allergy symptoms.

 

The Symptom Threshold


You may not even realize you are allergic to mold and
animal dander because your body may react to them minimally
, thus not producing symptoms. Or you might
experience such mild symptoms (such as a constant runny
nose) that you don’t realize it’s actually an allergic reaction.

But these sensitizations add up, and when you add another allergen to the load (e.g., pollen in spring), it may push you over
your threshold, leading to rhinitis symptoms. Knowing whether you’re allergic to less obvious allergens can help you control symptoms by identifying relevant allergens.4

Doing so may result in less of a reaction, or you may eventually
learn how to keep yourself below your symptom threshold altogether.6,8

You may not even realize you are allergic to mold and animal dander because your body may react to them minimally, thus not producing symptoms. Or you might experience such mild symptoms (such as a constant runny nose) that you don’t realize it’s actually an allergic reaction.

But these sensitizations add up, and when you add another allergen to the load (e.g., pollen in spring), it may push you over your threshold, leading to rhinitis symptoms. Knowing whether you’re allergic to less obvious allergens can help you control symptoms by identifying relevant allergens.4

Doing so may result in less of a reaction, or you may eventually learn how to keep yourself below your symptom threshold altogether.6,8

 
WHICH TESTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ME?

HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT I’M ALLERGIC TO?

Your healthcare provider can offer you a test to help identify the different substances that may trigger your allergies. This may help to determine the cause of your allergic rhinitis and, ultimately, learn how to control it.

 

WHICH TEST SHOULD I ASK FOR?

There are options when it comes to testing to identify allergic triggers. Discover the differences on each kind of test and talk to your healthcare provider about which combination may be right for you.

There are two options for blood testing in your allergy management plan.

 

1

Whole allergen testing can identify allergic triggers and rule allergy in or out.9-11

2

Allergen component testing can pinpoint the allergenic proteins that may be causing your allergy symptoms.12

 

A specific IgE (sIgE) blood test is a powerful tool that can aid in accurately diagnosing your allergies. 
There are fewer limitations on who can receive this type of test or when it can be performed.

 

  

Test
Blood Test

ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test13

ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test13


Check

Specific IgE tests are proven and help improve the diagnosis of allergies


Check

No danger of allergic reactions as the blood is tested in the laboratory


Check

A wide range of allergens are available (e.g., different pollens, mold, food, animal dander)


Check

Measures the antibodies (IgE) in the blood, helping your healthcare provider confirm suspected allergy




Take Control

Make a plan to take control.

Once you’ve been tested, and know the root cause of your allergy symptoms, you and your healthcare provider can create a personalized plan that explains how to avoid or lower your exposure to allergic triggers.

Speak to your healthcare provider about getting an ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test
and finally take control of your allergy symptoms.

References
  1. Pawankar R (Ed), et al. White book on allergy 2011; World Allergy Organisation UK.
  2. Del Giudice M, et al. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol 2011;24:25-8.
  3. de Groot EP, et al. Thorax 2012;67:582-587
  4. Asthma Control Questionnaire. Available from https://www.qoltech.co.uk/acq.html; last accessed November 2018.
  5. Scadding GK. Arch Dis Child 2015;100:576-282.
  6. Wickman M. Allergy 2005;60 (suppl 79):14-18.
  7. Burbach GJ, et al. GA2 LEN skin test study II: clinical relevance of inhalant allergen sensitizations in Europe. Allergy. 2009;64:1507-15.
  8. Ciprandi G, et al. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol 2008;40:77-83.
  9. Adapted from Duran-Tauleria E, Vignati G, Guedan MJ, et al. The utility of specific immunoglobulin E measurements in primary care. Allergy. 2004;59 Suppl 78:35-41.
  10. Adapted from Niggemann B, von Berg A, Bollrath C, et al. Safety and efficacy of a new extensively hydrolyzed formula for infants with cow’s milk protein. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008;19:325-31
  11. Eigenmann PA, Atanaskovic-Markovic M O’B Hourihane J, et al. Testing children for allergies: why, how, who and when; an updated statement of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) Section of Pediatrics and the EAACI-Clemens von Pirquet Foundation. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2013;24:195-209.
  12. Canonica GW, Ansotegui I, Pawankar R, et al. A WAO – ARIA - GA2 LEN consensus document on molecular-based allergy diagnostics. World Allergy Organ J. 2013;6:17.
  13. ImmunoCAP™ Specific IgE Directions for Use. May 2018.