Types of Allergies

Types of Allergies

There are so many different types of allergies that people can suffer from.  Some allergies are mild and manageable, while others can be very serious and even life-threatening. Below, we have broken down the 7 types of allergies; drug, food, insects and insect bites, latex, mould, pet and pollen.  We hope you find this information helpful.

Please note: The following is for your information only and should not be in replacement of an assessment by a Canadian-licensed physician. If at any point you are concerned that you may be having an anaphylactic reaction, such as swelling of your throat, throat closing sensation, swelling of your lips or tongues or are having difficulties breathing immediately use an EpiPen (if available) and go straight to your nearest emergency department, call 911 and

Drug Allergies

A drug allergy is when your body responds in an abnormal way to a medication. This medication can either be over the counter or prescription.  The most common symptoms of a drug allergy are hives, rash or fever.  

Food Allergies

The most common types of food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, soy, dairy, wheat, eggs, fish and shellfish.  Common allergic reactions include scratchy or itchy mouth or throat, hives, skin itch/irritation or eczema, nasal congestion, wheezing or difficulty breathing.  Other common symptoms include stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, dizziness or fainting. 

Allergies to Insects

There are different types of insect allergies. You may experience an allergic reaction to insects that don’t bite or sting such as dust mites.  Symptoms can include those that mirror seasonal allergies such as nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes, scratchy nose and throat, sneezing and coughing. 

Allergic reactions to insect bites or stings such as bees, can either be mild or severe. Mild reactions will result in pain, warmth or swelling at the site of the sting. 

Latex Allergies

Latex is a rubber product found in many commonly used items such as gloves, rubber bands, balloons, condoms and some sporting goods. Latex allergies can be either mild or severe.  In its mildest form, symptoms can be itchiness where the skin has come into contact with the latex.  

Mould Allergies

Diagnosing an allergy to mould can be a little tricky because it involves some investigation of your environment, and because the symptoms can begin gradually and worsen over time. Symptoms tend to mirror those of seasonal allergies, making it even more difficult to diagnose without proper allergy testing. In addition to sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, mould allergies can also include excessively dry skin.  If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, speak with your doctor. 

Pet Allergies

While we may love our pets, our bodies don’t always cooperate. Allergies to dogs and cats can be very common and present similar to other environmental allergies.  Those suffering from pet allergies can experience sneezing, coughing, postnasal drip, itchy/scratchy nose, throat or roof of the mouth.  Sinus pain pressure is also a common symptom.  If you suspect a pet allergy, contact a doctor so that a proper diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment options can be explored. 

Pollen Allergies

Also referred to as “seasonal allergies” or “hay fever”, pollen allergies are normally experienced in the spring and summer months.  Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, the roof of mouth and nose.  Other common symptoms experienced by allergy sufferers are fatigue,  postnasal drip, red, itchy and watery eyes. Many effective treatments can be given either over the counter or by prescription.  If you suffer from pollen allergies, your suffering may be unnecessary.  Speak to your doctor and learn about the right options for you. 

Severity of Allergies

Allergic reactions tend to become more severe with each exposure so it’s important that if you suspect that you or a loved one is having a severe food allergy then call 911 or go straight to the emergency department (use an EpiPen if you have one).

VirtualDr Can Help

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from any type of mild allergy, it’s important that you see a doctor to determine the best and most appropriate course of action.  VirtualDr. Is an online walk-in clinic covered by OHIP. Our doctors are available to answer your questions, concerns and provide you with proper referrals to an allergy specialist if necessary. 

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