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 Allergy | Inhalents

ALLERGY
An allergy is an abnormal reaction of the body to one or more substances that are harmless to most people. An allergen is any substance that causes an allergic reaction. Allergies are suspected to be a significant cause of your symptoms.

SEASONAL INHALANTS
POLLENS - Plants reproduce by the production of pollen. Most flowering plants produce a very heavy and sticky pollen, which is spread by insects and birds. This pollen is not easily airborne and is seldom a cause of allergy. Non-flowering plants produce large amounts of lightweight pollen, which are primarily wind borne, and most frequently the cause of allergy. Factors such as wind velocity, temperature and humidity affect the amount of pollen in the air.

TREES - Most trees pollinate from March to June with April and May being the peak season. Trees in your yard may be particularly allergenic to you because of the proximity.

GRASSES - Most grasses pollinate from April to September. The peak of the grass season on the Eastern Shore is in May and June.

WEEDS - Most weeds pollinate from August through October. Weeds are found in uncultivated fields, vacant lots, coastal plains, roadsides and along streams.

PERENNIAL INHALANTS
HOUSE DUST and DUST MITES - Decomposed plant animals, pet hair and animal fibers contained in household furnishings make up house dust. The dust mite is a microscopic insect that lives off of human hair, scales and dander. The mite is most often found in the bedroom and in upholstered furniture. House dust is a year-round offender which tends to be worse in the colder months when the heat is turned on.

MOLDS - Molds and fungi are forms of living plant life which feed on organic matter such as wood, paper, leather and paint. They grow best where there is dampness, lack of air movement and poor light. Their microscopic spores are easily distributed by wind or air currents. Outdoors, molds grow best on vegetation, in the earth or around swimming pools. Indoors, they grow in basements, stuffed furniture, bedding, bathrooms, foam rubber, painted or papered walls and humidifiers.

ANIMAL DANDERS, FEATHERS - Animals constantly shed their hair and skin (dander) which penetrate the entire house and become a part of house dust. Dander can remain in the carpet and upholstery indefinitely even after the pet is removed. Pets also bring in pollen and molds from outdoors. Feathers are also organic materials which become a part of the house dust and are an excellent culture medium for molds.