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If you seem to have an endless cold, you may actually have an insect allergy. Cockroaches in particular are everywhere, but are especially common in warmer climates and in crowded cities. They thrive in humid rooms (think bathrooms and kitchens), are more active at night so they will scatter when a light is turned on.
Cockroaches have a protein in their body parts, saliva, and waste that can set off allergy symptoms and asthma, even after they are dead. Your symptoms may be worse during or after cleaning your home because vacuuming, sweeping and dusting can kick the reaction-causing protein up into the air, making it easier to inhale.
An insect allergy can also be a common trigger of asthma. Studies show children who are allergic to cockroaches, and are exposed to them, need to go to the hospital for asthma more often, have more doctor’s office visits and more days of wheezing, too.1,2
Insect allergy symptoms are similar to hay fever or pollen allergy symptoms, but continue beyond the spring or fall seasons.
And all of these symptoms can be caused by just about any allergy, so to learn if insects are the culprit, be sure to consult with your healthcare professional.
Common insect allergy symptoms include:
You may be so used to dealing with your runny nose that you might not consider asking for help. But how do you know if your symptoms are caused by an insect allergy or not? Testing can help your healthcare professional determine what’s behind the endless sneezing and sniffles, so don’t try to manage the problem on your own. A simple blood test—together with your medical history—can help identify underlying allergen triggers, if you have an allergy. And a blood test can be done even when you are taking antihistamines. Knowing if you’re allergic and what you’re allergic to can help you, or a loved one, avoid or minimize symptoms.