Developing Allergies as an Adult
September 27, 2016
Those lucky enough to skate through childhood and adolescence without itchy, watery eyes aren’t immune from allergies for life. Developing adult-onset allergies – from seasonal allergies to food allergies – is possible no matter how old you are.
As the seasons are changing, we are seeing new patients everyday who are experiencing fall allergy symptoms for the first time this year, or whose favorite food now breaks them out in hives.
Allergies develop when your immune system mistakenly identifies a substance such as pollen, mold, animal dander, or food as harmful.
That substance is referred to as an allergen. The allergen stimulates immune system cells to release certain chemicals, such as histamine, which then lead to allergy symptoms. Depending on the allergen, reactions can vary from mild to severe, and can involve nasal passages, eyes, sinuses, airways, skin, and digestive systems.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about allergies, however their prevalence is increasing in the United States and around the world. No matter your age, developing an allergy can be life-changing. Your carefree diet is out the window, you may have to follow a strict medication regimen, and now you have auto-injectors, anaphylaxis risks, and lots of explaining to do.
Any type of allergy can occur in adulthood, including hay fever, pet allergies, and food allergies. Most people who are diagnosed with allergies as adults probably had an allergic episode earlier in life that they don’t remember.
Allergy symptoms may also fade during the teen years, only to return when patients enter adulthood. Some people, however, do experience allergy symptoms for the first time in their twenties, thirties, and forties.
Allergies can be unpleasant no matter how young or old you are, but your medical team can help you identify your allergy triggers and find solutions.
If you are experiencing strange symptoms, the only way to know for certain if you have developed allergies is to schedule an appointment for diagnosis with a Board-Certified Allergist/Immunologist. These allergy experts can help determine specific triggers, suggest ways to avoid them, and craft a specific treatment plan.
If you are ready to get to the root of your allergy symptoms, call BreatheAmerica today!