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Multiple chemical sensitivity is a severe sensitivity to chemicals and VOCs. As we mentioned in the allergy symptoms section, many people that experience allergy symptoms may not actually have allergies, but instead have developed sensitivities to different types of chemicals or irritants in their environment.
Things such as smoke, pesticides, scented products, or even plastics and fabrics can cause a severe allergy-like reaction within people who have heightened sensitivities to them.
Even in today's advanced medical age, many doctors fail to adequately pinpoint MCS as the cause of one's severe allergic reactions. This lack of understanding of multiple chemical sensitivity is partially a result of a limited knowledge of exactly what causes MCS in the first place. However, there are number of different theories as to what can causes MCS:
While there can literally be hundreds of different triggers for MCS, some of the most frequently cited irritants include:
MCS symptoms can be difficult to pinpoint because the symptoms between one patient and another can vary significantly. However, most cases of MCS have some similarities that include:
The difficulty with the above symptoms is that they also pertain to normal allergies such as hay fever. Hay fever symptoms are worse when the allergen is present and they improve when the allergens are removed. However, with MCS, the allergen is not going to be a pollen , dust or mold spore, but a chemical or VOC.
As with allergies, the number one recommended treatment is complete avoidance of the irritants that cause your symptoms. For people that suffer from MCS, avoidance is even more imperative than for those with normal allergies as even the most miniscule amount of the irritant can cause an intense reaction.
Some people with multiple chemical sensitivity have found relief through the use air purifiers. Certain types of Air Purifiers contain activated carbon, or chemical adsorbtion compounds than can be used to filter VOCs out of the air.
Most importantly, dealing with MCS comes down to making lifestyle changes.