Is there something like chorine allergy? What are the symptoms of chlorine allergy? Here is more on what you need to know about reaction and sensitivity to chlorine in the swimming pool, tap water, and bleach.
Chlorine is a chemical element which can exist as a gas or liquid in different conditions. It is usually prepared in the laboratory. There are some amounts of chlorine gas in the atmosphere emitted when substances made of chloride are burnt. It is commonly used to treat drinking water, swimming pools and as an antiseptic. Large amounts of chlorine are used in industries examples are in paper production, textiles among others. The most common chlorine compounds are sodium and hydrogen chlorides. Sodium chloride is normally known as table salt.
A person will have chlorine allergy after being exposed to high level of chlorine. This may be after too much time in swimming pools either through sports or for leisure. Many swimming pools are sanitized using chlorine. Chlorine allergy is categorized in the fourth degree. This is because it has delayed symptoms whose reactions are cell-mediated.
A number of allergists have argued that there is nothing like chlorine allergy it is the reaction to chlorine. After exposure with chlorine, it will react with skin cells to form chloramines on the surface. In a research, the America College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), found out that one cannot be allergic to chlorine but rather will be sensitive or have a reaction.
Chlorine Allergy- Swimming
The people that are most likely to be affected by chlorine are swimmers. This is so because of time they spend training or in competitions. Some medical reports suggest that what swimmers experience are signs of sensitivity and not chlorine allergy. Frequency exposure to chlorine sensitivity can lead to adverse effects.
Symptoms of Chlorine Allergy
However different people call chlorine allergy of skin reaction, high level of chlorine will have effects. Here are the signs and symptoms of chlorine allergy:
- Eye burning and irritation, It is the most common symptom. The eyes become red, swollen, dry or watery itchy. Rinse eyes with fresh water or apply a cold compress. Using swimming goggles will help one avoid this.
- Skin Allergy. The skin is the first thing to be in contact with chlorine. Victims experience painful rashes or itchy. They will experience dryness, rashes on the arms armpits and knees.
- Coughing and Sneezing. Inhaling chlorine fumes leads to constant coughing or sneezing. Using masks in places with chlorine fumes can help minimize this.
- Stomach Problems. They caused by prolonged inhalation of chlorine fumes. Victims with extreme chlorine allergy reaction may vomit.
- Respiratory Allergy Symptoms. According to research chlorine causes serious reactions to respiratory system which are similar to asthma ones. They can happen abruptly. The victim will experience chest tightness, cough or sneeze.
- Nausea, a number of victims experience dizziness and vomiting after exposure to high amounts of chlorine. This may be accompanied by delusions.
Other signs and symptoms include;
- Inflamed mucous membranes and stuffy nose
- Rash and redness on the skin and tenderness
- Difficulties in breathing and asthma-related symptoms
Normally chlorine allergy depends on skin sensitivity. To some people, it may be immediately other hours or days after the effects. Symptoms appear when one is exposed to chlorine. They disappear once chlorine is eliminated or reduced.
How to Reduce Suspected Chlorine Allergy
- Pool attendants should use small amounts of chlorine when treating swimming pools.
- Avoid pools that smell of chlorine from a distance- means it is too high.
- Using salt water pool can help reduce chlorine allergy as they provide safe and gentle. Salt water is stable for lower chlorine concentration providing same sanitation levels.
- Take a shower before and after swimming to reduce the amount of chlorine the skin may absorb.
- Avoiding substances manufactured with chlorines is a solution to reduce chlorine allergy.
Treatment of Chlorine Allergy
The cure for chlorine allergy is through its removal from the skin. In cases of severe allergic reaction, you should seek immediate medical care.
- To reduce skin sensitivity, rinse the affected area to remove traces of chlorine.
- In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream.
- In the case of burning or itching eyes, the victims should use saline eye drops or flush with a cool eye rinse.
Note that wearing contact lenses while swimming does not prevent eyes from effects of chlorine. It rather makes it riskier. The lenses may be damage. They may change in shape, fold in the eyes, rip or wash off. This increases the chances of injury and of bacteria getting into the eyes which may result
Victims with nausea, coughing, sneezing, stomach and respiratory problems should seek emergency medical care.