When it comes to allergies, triggers are basically the things that can set off an allergic reaction. In case of smoke allergy, the trigger is no other than the smoke particles. Nevertheless, there are various places in which the individual can be exposed to smoke and some are unexpected.
It is important to note that individuals who are exposed to second-hand smoke face a higher risk for developing asthma, respiratory illness and allergy. Understandably, cigarette smoke will impair the integrity of the lung epithelial layer and allowing the penetration of the allergens by damaging the natural defense mechanism in the lungs. The symptoms of smoke allergy are quite similar to asthma such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and impaired lung function.
How to spot and minimize the smoke allergy triggers
- Family members and friends who smoke should do it outside in properly ventilated areas away from the windows and doors so that the smoke will not enter the house. Always remember that second-hand smoke is considered as a common allergy trigger but the individual will have difficulty avoiding it if he/she will not speak up about it.
- Take note that tobacco is not the only smoke that can trigger smoke allergy since even smoking wood can aggravate the allergy. It is best to avoid any campfires and even lighting candles among those who are very sensitive.
- If there are pets around, they must be bathed on a regular basis using an anti-dander solution and do not allow the stray pet hairs to linger at home. Allergies usually have the tendency to go along with one another and those who are suffering reactions to pet dander can be vulnerable to smoke allergy.
- The individual must avoid exposure to harsh smells and other poisonous substances. Common substances such as perfume, paint, harsh cleaning products and chlorine bleach can easily trigger allergies, thus it is vital to identify and eliminate these substances if they are used at home.
- If possible, vacuuming the carpet must be avoided, beating rugs and performing any activity that stirs up the dust particles. If the individual is allergic to smoke, he/she will react to these airborne irritants.
- Encourage the individual to keep an allergy journal to record the symptoms of every allergy attack being experienced as well as its location, duration and other related circumstances. This should be presented to the doctor during allergy testing to help determine the possible triggers.
Once an individual undergoes allergy testing and the triggers are determined, smoke allergy can be prevented. Some individuals who are prone to severe allergic reactions usually bring along an EpiPen that is administered in order to counteract the symptoms. You can enroll in a first aid class so that you are prepared to deal with other related allergies.