There are more than 240 allergens, some rare and others very common. Who’d have though that barley, pigeon feathers, silk, egg yolk, horsemeat, vanilla and lentils could be allergens? It’s true.
But before you banish your parrot, throw away your shirt and give up lentils for Lent, find out what the major allergens are. The chances are good that you’re not allergic to the more obscure ones.
The major allergens are:
- Grass pollens: Bermuda grass, Rye grass
- Tree pollens: Oak, Olive, Eucalyptus, Acacia
- Weed pollens: Mugwort, Sheep sorrell
- Moulds: Cladosporium fumigatus, Alternaria alternata
- Mites: Dermataphogoides pteronyssinus, Dermataphogoides farinae
- Occupational hazards: Latex
- cigarette smoke
- Drug allergies: Penicilloyl G, Penicilloyl V, Amoxilloyl
- Venoms: Honey bee
- Insects: cockroach
- Parasites: Acsaris (mainly in the Western Cape), Schistosoma (mainly in the north of the country).
Revision date: June 14, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD