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Quiz: Do you know the facts on allergies?

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What causes animal allergies?

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What causes animal allergies?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It's not Fluffy's fur that's making you sneeze, and it's not his dander or skin cells either. Pet allergies are a reaction to certain harmless proteins that an animal secretes, which can be on the fur or dander, or in urine and saliva as well.

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True or false? If you're allergic to animals, you'll be fine with a hypoallergenic dog.

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True or false? If you're allergic to animals, you'll be fine with a hypoallergenic dog.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Contrary to popular belief, there's no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, and allergies are a reaction to proteins in dander, faeces and urine, not fur itself. Even short-haired pets can pose a problem. Feathers can also leave you sneezing, so a totally hairless pet, like a fish or turtle, is safest. But check with a specialist, you might be allergic to cats but not dogs, for example.

Can you have hayfever in autumn and winter?

Can you have hayfever in autumn and winter?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Hayfever, a form of allergic rhinitis commonly caused by the release of grass pollen, usually pops up in May to July. However, if you're allergic to tree pollen you can be affected from as early as February. Mould spores, which can grow even in freezing temperatures, can also bring on hayfever symptoms and their peak time is September to October.

If you have seasonal allergies, you might also be allergic to:

If you have seasonal allergies, you might also be allergic to:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some people who have seasonal allergies also get hives or itchiness in their mouth when they eat some raw fruit and vegetables. Certain proteins in these foods are very similar to the ones found in pollen. Cooking usually changes these proteins enough that they no longer cause an allergic reaction. So you might get hives from biting into a Granny Smith, but not from apple pie.

Anaphylaxis is:

Anaphylaxis is:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Although wheezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose are all unpleasant, anaphylaxis can be deadly. It’s a severe, whole-body allergic reaction that develops rapidly after you’re exposed to the allergic trigger, which can be food, an insect sting, or even latex. A swollen throat and trouble swallowing and breathing, a sudden drop in blood pressure, dizziness and loss of consciousness are hallmarks of an anaphylactic reaction.

 

If you have any of these symptoms and/or facial swelling, seek immediate medical care by calling 999.

Allergic reactions usually get milder the more often you're exposed to an allergen.

Allergic reactions usually get milder the more often you're exposed to an allergen.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Although some people do 'outgrow' allergies, once you've had an allergic reaction to something, there's no way to predict how severe your next reaction will be. Some allergies, particularly insect sting allergies, may get worse with repeated reactions.

If you have allergies, your child will have them, too.

If you have allergies, your child will have them, too.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It's true that allergies are often hereditary, which means that kids with allergic parents are more likely to be allergic themselves. But it's entirely possible for a child to develop allergies even though neither parent has ever had an allergic reaction to anything.

One possible way to keep my child from developing allergies is to:

One possible way to keep my child from developing allergies is to:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

More and more, research is showing that when kids are exposed to a wide variety of germs while they’re young, they're less likely to develop allergies later in life. This means that getting dirty is OK for allergy prevention.

Taking antihistamines regularly can help prevent an allergic reaction.

Taking antihistamines regularly can help prevent an allergic reaction.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Antihistamines can treat the symptoms of an allergy, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, itching and skin reactions, and if taken regularly can help to prevent allergic reactions. The different antihistamines available can do a very good job in controlling your symptoms, but some may cause drowsiness, so always read the information leaflet.

The tiny creatures lurking in your carpet and curtains that can provoke an allergic reaction are called:

The tiny creatures lurking in your carpet and curtains that can provoke an allergic reaction are called:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Dust mites are too small to be seen without a microscope, but they can cause giant problems for people with allergies or asthma. It's actually a protein in their poo that you may be allergic to. Consider covering mattresses and pillows with dust-proof covers and regularly vacuuming the home to keep dust mites numbers down.

If you're allergic to mould, the best tool for keeping your home mould-free is:

If you're allergic to mould, the best tool for keeping your home mould-free is:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter traps mould spores before they get to you. These work much better than freestanding air cleaners. If you use humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners, remember to clean the fluid reservoirs regularly.

You can reduce your exposure to seasonal allergens by:

You can reduce your exposure to seasonal allergens by:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

During the pollen season it's a good idea to stay indoors when the pollen count is high. Pollen forecasts are widely available from the Met Office.

Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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