Most of us don’t think twice about our daily activities but for those with allergies, going for a run in the park or having coffee with a friend is almost a luxury.
Allergies come in all forms, whether it’s something as common as hayfever, or being allergic to dairy or gluten. In fact, one in seven Australians and over 500 million people worldwide suffer from hayfever.
However, even hayfever sufferers are considered better off by those with rarer allergies that many people don’t even know exist.
Here are seven strange allergies that you may not have heard of:
- Allergy to ultraviolet radiation.
Solar urticaria is a condition in which the exposure to ultraviolet radiation – whether from natural or artificial sunlight – causes hives. These symptoms often occur on the face and hands and can last from a few minutes up to a few hours. In some cases, it affects large parts of the body, which causes loss of fluid and results in a headache or vomiting. Unfortunately, treatment options like antihistamines are only effective for some people.
- Allergic to water.
Aquagenic urticaria is a rare disease that only affects one out of 23 million people, mostly women, who are hypersensitive to ions in non-distilled water. This makes crying, sweating and even showering extremely painful and often leading to chronic rashes.
- Allergic to physical activity.
Exercise-induced rhinitis is when someone experiences hayfever-like symptoms caused by exercise. Symptoms include a runny or blocked nose from the higher salt concentration of the nasal lining. Unfortunately, hayfever treatments like antihistamines are ineffective in treating this condition, and the best thing to do is to limit one’s exposure to heat and prevent the loss of moisture in the nasal lining by wearing a mask.
- Allergic to semen.
Human seminal plasma hypersensitivity is when a woman’s body produces antibodies in response to the protein in seminal fluid (semen). The good news is this condition can be treated by allergists through allergy shots and other techniques. It is likely that someone who suffers from this allergy will also suffer from hayfever or food allergies.
- Allergy during pregnancy.
Pemphigoid gestationis is a rare autoimmune skin disease that some pregnant women experience during the second to third trimesters in which they develop rashes that turn into blisters. It usually starts in the area around the belly button before spreading to the rest of the body.
- Allergic to nickel or rubber.
Contact dermatitis can occur at the site of touch in people with allergies to a variety of common environmental elements such as nickel or rubber. Typical symptoms include redness, itching and blistering on the skin. Usually occurring from contact with jewellery or belt buckles containing nickel (including 14 karat gold!), or underwear with rubber elastic, rubber gloves and so on.
- Allergic to electromagnetic fields.
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a controversial allergy to electromagnetic fields, which includes Wi-Fi. Symptoms may vary from fatigue, headaches, depression, skin irritation, blood pressure changes, tinnitus and eye problems. However this condition is not well understood, further research is required.
If you know about other strange allergies share it with us on our Facebook page. Hayfever is a serious condition that can be managed by finding the right treatment. A doctor can help find the right solution for you.