7 Surprising Things That Cause Allergies, Because It's Not Always Hay Fever

Those of us who suffer from allergies know how annoying it is to deal with constant watery eyes and the sniffles. Even if you're careful to stay away from certain pollens and religiously remove dust bunnies from your home, there may be some surprising causes of allergies you don't even know about. Most allergy sufferers are aware of the common culprits, but there could be a variety of little things in your life that are causing or exacerbating your allergy symptoms.

If you experience allergies, you aren't alone. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 50 million people in the United States experience nasal allergies, with symptoms ranging from sneezing, stuffy, and runny rose, to watery eyes. People can be allergic from anything from pollen and spores, to animals and household objects. "What causes allergies is a sensitivity that a person's body has to either a food, chemical, substance, herb, etc.," says naturopathic physician Dr. Jennifer Burns over email.

Although many people just experience seasonal allergies, everyone has different triggers, so it can be difficult to blame the springtime weather on every symptom. If you've been experiencing constant allergies, and you can't quite pinpoint why, consider these seven seemingly unsuspecting things that can be causing your allergies.

1. Candles And Air Fresheners

Although you might like keeping your house smelling nice, air fresheners can actually create allergy-like symptoms such as a headache or runny rose. According to the Journal Of Environmental Health, 19 percent of people experience adverse reactions to air fresheners.

2. Perfume

"Perfume is a big one," says Burns. "Some people are so sensitive to chemicals like perfume that it can cause headaches, sinuses to start swelling, and your eyes to water. A lot of people stay away from the mall because of that reason."

3. Plastic

"People can be allergic to plastic," says Burns. "There are chemicals in plastic like xenoestrogens and BPA that can cause estrogen levels to raise in your body." Research from Environmental Health Perspectives found that the chemicals added to plastic cause symptoms of asthma, hay fever, and eczema.

4. Herbs

"Believe it or not some people are actually allergic to herbs," says Burns. "Herbs have a lot of benefits to them, but for some people, they can be harmful and can cause nausea, stomach upset, and even headaches." Some herbs that cause allergic reactions include chamomile, echinacea, and dandelion, as these herbs can come from the same plants as common allergens.

5. Alcohol

If you're someone prone to allergies, you may want to stay away from that glass of wine at night. Beer, wine, and liquor contain histamine, the chemical that causes allergy symptoms. The journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy published a study that found that having more than two glasses of wine a day almost doubles your risk of allergy symptoms, even for people who don't usually suffer from allergies.

6. Your House

"There may be some underlying chemicals or solvents hanging around your house that can cause allergies, from paint, carpets, soaps, deodorant, cockroach droppings, etc.," says Burns. In these cases try to discover what is causing the allergy by removing one element at a time and seeing if reactions subside.

7. Stress

Stress is annoying enough, but turns out it can also make you feel sick. Research from the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that people who suffer from allergies experience more severe allergy symptoms when they have high levels of stress.

Allergies can be triggered from more than one allergen, so it's important to pay attention to all areas of your life to see what could be cause your symptoms.

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