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Multiple Allergies and The Symptom Threshold

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Symptom Threshold

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,1,2 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.

Multiple Allergens


Allergic triggers can add up

Most people with allergies—up to 80%— are allergic to multiple allergens.3 And for some of these people; symptoms may appear only when they encounter two or more things they’re allergic to at the same time.

Minimizing your exposure to your allergic triggers may help lessen or get rid of your symptoms.
For example: 

perennial indoor allergens graph

You could have a low-level allergy to dust mites, mold and grass pollen. During large parts of the year you’re exposed to dust mites and mold, but may have little to no symptoms.

perennial indoor and seasonal allergens graph

But in the spring, when pollen is in the air, you may experience symptoms. You then might think that you have only a pollen allergy, but without a test you won’t know for sure.

perennial indoor and seasonal allergens graph

Your best defense against your allergic symptoms is to know what’s causing them and to avoid those triggers. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to cut everything you’re allergic to out of your life. You'll just have to reduce your exposure enough to get below your symptom threshold - the level where you start to experience symptoms.

Allergies exist in many different forms, but the majority fall into common categories:

Year-Round Allergies

This may be why you’re always sniffling and sneezing.

Learn more >

Seasonal Allergies

The frequent cause of your spring or fall sneezes.

Learn more >

Food Allergies

More than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions.4

Learn more >

Hornet, Wasp & Bee Sting Allergy

Get the buzz on the stinging insects behind this allergy.

Learn more >

References
  1. Wickman M. When allergies complicate allergies. Allergy. 2005;60 (Suppl 79):14–18.
  2. Burbach GJ, et al. GA2 LEN skin test study II: clinical relevance of inhalant allergen sensitizations in Europe. Allergy. 2009;64:1507-15.
  3. Ciprandi G, Alesina R, Ariano R, et al. Characteristics of patients with allergic polysensitization; the polismail study. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;40 (3);77-83..
  4. Boyce J, Assa’ad A, Burks AW, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: Report of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126 (6):S1- 58.