How to Identify Allergies

Allergies and allergic reactions are fairly common and they often present as some other type of ailment. Here are some of the more common allergic reaction symptoms and some steps you can take to identify the specific item you are reacting to.


  1. 1
    Pay attention to any cold like symptoms. A persistent cough could be a cold... OR it could be asthma. If your "spring cold" has you coughing, but does not include a body ache or sore throat, you could have "cough equivalent asthma" caused by an allergen such as pollen, pet dander, dust, etc.
  2. 2
    Pay attention to any skin irritations. A collection of itchy spots could be mosquito bites... or it could be a rash due to a skin irritant such as poison ivy.. or it could be hives caused by an allergic reaction to detergent. If the hives are concentrated along lines where your clothing rubs or is snug (such as underwear lines) you could be allergic to either latex (in elastic) or to detergents you wash your clothing with.
  3. 3
    Pay attention to watery and itchy eyes. This is one of the more common allergic reactions and could be your first clue that you and pollen were not meant to cohabit.
  4. 4
    Pay attention to any edema. Swollen hands, face etc can be in indication that you have ingested something you are allergic to.
  5. 5
    Keep a log of your reactions, including the time of day and weather conditions present (if any). This can help you and your physician determine what allergen you contacted and when.
  6. 6
    Be prepared if you have suffered from allergies. If you have experienced an allergic reaction, keep your allergy medications handy. Keep an inhaler with you, if prescribed by your medical professional. Use an Epipen if you have suffered from anaphylactic shock. This could mean the difference between life and death for you in the event of a severe allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock.
  7. 7
    Visit an Allergist for "scratch testing" to identify specific allergens.


  • Keep your allergy medications handy.
  • Consult an allergist (doctor specializing in the treatment of allergies) if you find yourself taking over the counter medications for your allergies more often than once per week.
  • Consult your physician if you have more than one of the common allergic reaction symptoms.


  • Avoid all known allergens, no matter how innocuous they may seem. Your body's reaction to the first exposure may be slight, but it's reaction to a second exposure could be deadly. Don't take chances!

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Categories: Allergies and Immunization