You may think it was a fluke that you developed a seasonal allergy, an allergy to your beloved pet, or some other allergy well into adulthood. Whatever irritant you are allergic to, any allergy is the result of your immune system overacting to it. You may be surprised to learn that allergies can be diagnosed at any time in life, too. In fact, the prevalence of adult-onset allergies is on the rise. The reason why isn’t entirely clear, but it could be the result of long, more severe pollen seasons, more potent mold, and other environmental triggers such as pollutants.
You may be at a higher risk of developing an allergy as an adult if you have a family history, or if you move to a new geographical area with different pollutants or plants. You may even develop an allergy to a new pet’s dander. What may surprise you is that you’ve had seasonal allergies your whole life, only it has become worse over the years.
How Common Are Adult-Onset Allergies?
There still is no data on the number of adults diagnosed with allergies for the first time, but as the Baby Boomers age, allergists are noticing more Americans developing nasal allergies. Research is still inconclusive about what suddenly triggers the immune system to suddenly become irritated by an allergen. However, allergists are hopeful they’ll find a way to “turn off” whatever mechanism turned “on” the allergy in the first place.
To manage allergy symptoms before making an appointment with your doctor, the rules are the same as those for children: Avoid the irritants if you can, consider taking allergy medications, and seek attention from an allergist for treatment. Once you know the allergen that’s causing your ailment, your doctor can best determine how to treat you.
Do you need allergy testing? Contact us at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today at (404) 994-3574 to book your appointment.