Allergies are something that a large part of the global population has to deal with. The seasonal allergy hay fever or allergic rhinitis, for example, affects between 10-30% of people worldwide, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Allergic reactions can range from simply annoying to severe or even fatal. To avoid unexpected or expensive complications due to allergies, every person should consult their doctor and have any potential allergies diagnosed. If you’re living in Spain, discover the allergy testing you can have done with public or private healthcare. If you’re looking to see which allergies you may have before going to the doctor, keep reading below for a list of common allergy types.
Seasonal allergies come and go when spring or fall comes along. These aren’t usually serious allergies, but can certainly dampen your spirit and keep you sneezy or congested. Common seasonal allergies include: pollen from trees, plants, weeds, or grass; mold; sand; and dust.
A typical way to determine which specific seasonal allergies you may have is a skin or blood test. The good news in this case is that there are usually over-the-counter medications to combat these allergy types.
Drug or Medicine Allergy
Drug allergies can range from very unpleasant side effects, usually from an overly-sensitive immune system, to a severe reaction or death. Common drugs that cause allergic reactions are antibiotics like Penicillin or Amoxicillin, but this list provides a good overview of potential allergy-causing medications.
The best thing to do if you think you or a loved one may have a drug allergy is to review your medical history with your doctor and look into skin testing.
In the United States, everybody knows some child with a peanut allergy that has the misfortune of not being able to eat our beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The equivalent in Spain would be like being allergic to jamón…
However, food allergies are no joking matter. Allergies for food are becoming more prevalent in children globally. Note that food allergies are very different from food intolerances like lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity. A serious food allergy can cause anaphylactic shock or even death.
The most common food allergies are: nuts, soy, shellfish, as well as dairy and wheat. In fact, according to Healthline, 8 specific types of food are responsible for 90% of all food allergies. Most countries require common food allergens to be labeled on packaging to keep down the risk of people eating something they are allergic to.
Animal & Insect Allergies
You can probably already tell if you have an animal allergy - do your eyes get itchy and watery around cats or dogs? It’s unfortunate because you might not get to buy that furry pet you’ve always wanted, but there are ways to control this type of allergy with medication or by buying certain hypoallergenic dog and cat breeds.
An allergy to insects, on the other hand, is usually a little harder to handle. The venom in insects like bees, wasps, or ants can trigger a severe allergic reaction in some people that requires going to the hospital. For this reason, many people carry an EpiPen around with them, which can reverse the symptoms of an allergic reaction of this kind.
Other Allergy Types
There are other types of allergic reactions that can occur quite frequently for many people:
- Skin allergies include eczema, rashes, and hives, and these can occur for a variety of different reasons or as a side effect of other allergies.
- Cosmetic allergies usually involve sensitivity to a certain beauty product, chemical, or perfume. A nickel allergy tends to be common and can come about from your jewelry.
- Finally, asthma is a form of allergy that affects about 235 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Don't wait to find out what kind of allergies you may have - you don't need to suffer when there is allergy testing and medication out there waiting for you. Caser Expat Health Insurance coverages include various diagnostic tests for allergy testing, download the guide to see the differences with public healthcare:
If you are searching for health insurance in Spain, Caser Expat Insurance has the right policy for you!