In this article, we will get to know

What are allergens, and how do they work?
The impact of allergy
Types of allergy
What is allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis symptoms
What is urticaria?
Common causes of urticaria
Urticaria symptoms and characteristics
Telfast® is here to help

What are allergens, and how do they work?

“A substance that is an allergen for one person may not be for another.”

However, the risk of developing allergies is higher if other family members suffer from allergy or asthma.1

The impact of allergy

Allergic rhinitis has been shown to have a direct and significant impact on an individual’s quality of life:2

 World allergy organization estimates 30-40% of the world population is now affected by one or more allergic conditions.2

 The rise in the incidence of allergic rhinitis in the GCC countries has been influenced by the rise in pollution and variations in the environmental landscape.3

 Allergic rhinitis is common in the middle east.2

 Symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) have been shown to reduce the quality of life and performance at work or school significantly.2

Allergy Types

What kind of allergy do I have, and what is causing it?

There are several allergy types and symptoms, depending on the allergen and the part of your body that is exposed to it.1

Areas of the body that may be affected by allergy:1


When you breathe in allergens, an allergic reaction may occur, which may result in the release of a substance called histamine. This then causes the lining of your nose to produce lots of mucus and become swollen and inflamed. The result is a runny, itchy nose, and a violent sneezing. You may also get watery eyes and a sore throat.1


Asthma can sometimes be triggered during an allergic reaction. When you breathe in an allergen, the lining of the passages in your lungs may swell and make breathing difficult.1


Most stomach upsets are caused by richness or spiciness in the food itself, rather than an actual allergy. However, certain foods are commonly associated with allergy. These include peanuts, seafood, dairy products and eggs. Cow’s milk allergy is common in infants and can cause stomach upset. Lactose intolerance may also cause stomach upsets, but it must not be confused with allergy.1


Skin problems such as eczema (dry, red, itchy skin) and urticaria (also known as hives) often occur. Hives are white itchy bumps which look and feel like insect bites. Food may be a factor in some cases of hives and eczema. 1

What is allergic rhinitis

Commonly known as hay fever. Allergic rhinitis is caused by the exposure of the nose or eyes to allergens.4

Some of the most common indoor and outdoor allergens in the GCC countries 5,6,7

 Dust mites
 Pet dander

Allergic rhinitis may have significant effects on daily activities and quality of life. 2

It may be seasonal, occurring in spring, summer and early fall, or may come as perennial allergic rhinitis, with symptoms experienced throughout the year. 8

Allergic rhinitis symptoms

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include2:

 Runny nose
 Itchy nose
 Nasal congestion
 Watery eyes
 Itchy throat

What is urticaria?

The life-time occurrence of urticaria in the general population ranges from 1% to 5%.9

Urticaria can be triggered by many substances or situations and usually starts as an itchy patch of skin that turns into swollen red wheals10

The itching may be mild to severe, scratching, alcoholic beverages, exercise, emotional stress may worsen the itching.10

There are two types of hives, short lived (acute) and long-term (chronic)10

Common causes of urticaria10

 Certain food: such as eggs, nuts and shellfish

 Medicines: such as antibiotics, aspirin and ibuprofen

 Physical stimuli: such as cold or heat exercise and sun exposure

 Pet dander


 Bacterial infections


 Some plants: such as poison oak

 Viral infections

Urticaria symptoms and characteristics10

Symptoms can last anywhere from minutes to months, or even years!
While they may be mistaken for bug bites, hives (also known as urticaria)
are different in several ways:

 Hives can appear on any area of the body; they may change shape, move around, disappear and reappear over short periods of time.10

 The bumps - red or skin-colored “wheals” with clear edges - usually appear suddenly and go away just as quickly.10

 Pressing the center of a red hive makes it turn white - a process called “blanching”. 10

 Chronic hives occur almost daily for more than six weeks and are typically itchy. Each hive lasts less than 24 hours.10

Man confidently holding his cat pet

Telfast® is here to help.

Telfast® can help you get back to feeling like yourself again. It’s the #1 allergist-recommended medicine brand for non-drowsy relief,* with an antihistamine that gives you 24 hours of the fastest† non-drowsy relief from indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms. If you experience sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, or an itchy nose or throat, Telfast® can help.11 For nasal congestion, sinus congestion and pressure, swelling of nasal passages, and other allergy symptoms, try Telfast-D®. 12

No matter which product you choose, you can feel good knowing Telfast® is the #1 allergist-recommended medicine brand for non-drowsy relief.* 

Find the Telfast® product that’s right for you.

Recommended Reading

*Among OTC oral antihistamines.