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31 Everyday Things You Didn’t Know You Could Be Allergic To

Health.com Logo By Amanda MacMillan of Health.com | Slide 1 of 32: <p>Everybody knows somebody with an allergy to pollen, dust, pet dander, or peanuts (maybe you even have one of these common ailments yourself). But you may be surprised about some of the lesser known materials, foods, or environments that an cause allergic reactions in certain people.</p><p>An allergic reaction occurs when the body misreads something that’s typically harmless as being dangerous, explains Kevin McGrath, MD, spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. “The immune system creates special white blood cells, called antibodies, to defend against this apparent threat similarly to how it would fight an infection or illness,” he says. (That’s where symptoms like swelling, itching, runny nose, and wheezing come in.)</p><p>People must be born with a genetic predisposition to allergies, but scientists don’t know exactly why or how they become allergic to specific things. And while many allergens are quite common, others are much rarer. Here are some of the more interesting cases allergens have seen in their practice, and what you can do if you’re affected. </p>

Weird allergens

Everybody knows somebody with an allergy to pollen, dust, pet dander, or peanuts (maybe you even have one of these common ailments yourself). But you may be surprised about some of the lesser known materials, foods, or environments that an cause allergic reactions in certain people.

An allergic reaction occurs when the body misreads something that’s typically harmless as being dangerous, explains Kevin McGrath, MD, spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. “The immune system creates special white blood cells, called antibodies, to defend against this apparent threat similarly to how it would fight an infection or illness,” he says. (That’s where symptoms like swelling, itching, runny nose, and wheezing come in.)

People must be born with a genetic predisposition to allergies, but scientists don’t know exactly why or how they become allergic to specific things. And while many allergens are quite common, others are much rarer. Here are some of the more interesting cases allergens have seen in their practice, and what you can do if you’re affected.

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