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Even if you’re careful to stay away from certain pollens and are constantly removing dust bunnies from your home, there may be some surprising causes of allergies you don’t even know about. Although many people experience seasonal allergies, everyone has different allergy triggers, so the springtime weather may not necessarily be to blame for every symptom.

If you’ve been experiencing allergy symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes or sneezing, regardless of the season, you might be allergic to one of these five unexpected allergy triggers.

1. Plastic
Phthalates are commonly added to plastics as softeners and solvents. These chemicals can cause symptoms similar to those of hay fever and eczema, an allergy-related skin condition.

2. Herbs
Herbs have a lot of benefits to them, but for some people they can be harmful and cause nausea, stomach upset, and headaches. Some herbs that can cause allergic reactions include chamomile, echinacea, and dandelion, which all come from the same plant family as ragweed, a very common allergen.

3. Alcohol
If you’re prone to allergies, you may want to stay away from that nightcap. Beer, wine, and liquor contain histamine, a chemical that your body releases during allergic reactions. Drinking these substances can lead to common symptoms of hay fever, including sneezing, itching, headaches and coughing.

4. Candles or Air Fresheners
Although you might like your home to smell nice, air fresheners and candles can actually create allergy-like symptoms, such as a headache or a runny nose. For an allergy-friendly air freshener, you can simmer spices such as whole cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on the stovetop.

5. Stress
Some people who suffer from allergies experience more severe allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes, when they have high levels of stress. While alleviating stress won’t cure allergies, it may help decrease the frequency of intense symptoms. To help alleviate stress, try making time for fun and relaxation in your life.

Although you can try to avoid these triggers, and avoidance is key in allergy management, it can only provide temporary relief to your symptoms. There are a variety of treatment options, but the only way to truly treat the underlying causes of allergies is to first undergo allergy testing. A common form of allergy treatment recommended is Immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Immunotherapy works by carefully introducing an allergen into your body. This process eventually allows you to be exposed to the triggers, without having an allergic response. If you’re ready to finally find a long-term solution for your allergies, make an appointment with Dr. Pasha today!