Triggers for this type of allergy are usually protein molecules found in substances that we are often exposed to like foods, pollens, house dust mites, cat and dog dander and moulds. We call these allergy-causing proteins ‘allergens’. These proteins may gain entry into our bodies via skin contact (e.g. latex), injection (e.g. bee sting), ingestion (e.g. nuts and shellfish) or inhalation (e.g. house dust).
The allergens that cause most allergic reactions in South Africa include:
House dust mites, pollens, cats, dogs and other animals with hair or fur like horses, rabbits or guinea pigs, cockroaches, moulds, insect stings and foods such as cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, seafood, soya and tree nuts.