Allergies are extreme reactions of your immune system to substances, which are considered harmless to the bigger population. Fundamentally, the immune system wrongly interprets a substance as being harmful to the body and overreacts by treating it as a foreign invader. As a result, you develop an illness due to the reaction to allergens. Allergens are substances that trigger reactions. Common allergens include dust, plant pollen, medicines, and foods. These reactions occur in many people and are the reason behind most missed school and workdays on a normal day.
Symptoms of allergic reactions range from mild to extreme and may pose danger to life when left untended. When exposed to allergens, your immune system reacts by attempting to protect the body from harm by releasing immunoglobulin E. These are antibodies, which defend the body against allergens by releasing histamine and other repulsive chemicals.
Most food allergies are common in children but adults are also prone to them. However, only a fraction of adults is affected by food allergies. A recent study found that adults who experience symptoms of allergic reactions are likely to have been victims while they were growing up. This means that if you are diagnosed with an allergy later in life, you probably had the episodes earlier in life but may not remember. Although some people, who make up the large portion of the population, do not experience itch, watery eyes, and other reactions from childhood, they are not completely immune. Experts found that allergic reactions can still be developed in adults. They can also be temporal.
It is easy to notice an allergic tendency in a child by simplicity observing the symptoms of allergies and their patterns. For example, a baby who coughs a lot, develops rashes, itchy eyes, frequently complains of stomachache, cramps or nausea after consuming a particular food; is a likely candidate. These reactions are mostly genetic so it is easy to identify them from an early age. It is important to identify the reactions early in their childhood to enhance management of the problem. Children who begin to manage their allergy at an early stage are better placed to lead a quality lifestyle. They are able to maintain their daily routines without disruptions, as they are able to avoid the triggers.
The most common ailment related to allergies today is rhinitis (hay fever). This problem is steadily rising among both children and adults in America and around the world. Studies reveal that hay fever is present in all areas with hay plantations. The symptoms of this ailment are common to other allergies. They include; a runny and itchy nose, sneezing, postnasal, drips, and nasal blockage. In extreme cases and depending on the hormonal and genetic structure, some people develop watery, red eyes and pain in the ears.
It is important to beware that adults are not immune to first-time allergies. Even if you grew up without any allergy problems, you may still develop reactions. There is a lot to be determined and comprehended about allergies, their triggers, and control. Allergy increases (especially allergic rhinitis) in adults around the world is alarming.
According to Dr. Deborah Pockross of Kenilworth Medical Associates in Illinois, there is an increase in airborne pollutants and less ventilation in homes and offices. These conditions contribute to the high prevalence of rhinitis. Other common modern conditions include poor diets and sedentary lifestyles. Most of the theories are based on the shifting lifestyle that deprives people from proper immunity while exposing them to poor sanitation and air.
In contrast, the hygienic hypothesis theory contends that highly sanitized conditions with zero exposure to bacteria increases susceptibility to allergies. These conditions limit the process of natural development of your immune system. This means that people who maintain highly hygienic lifestyles are most prone to developing allergic reactions later in their adulthood. Excessively clean conditions and foods render your immune system useless, as it will not be having anything to react to when prompted.
Who is at Risk?
Most adults who experience allergic reactions probably had these episodes earlier in life. Since allergies are predictable, they can be traced back to childhood. The symptoms fade during teenage years.
All adults may be susceptible to allergies considering the increase in new reactions due to rising levels of allergens. The most common allergens are hay fever, pet allergies, dust mites, and mold allergies. Other less common ones include insect bites, drugs, and food allergies. Although experts are not certain about what causes new allergic reactions in adults, they agree that more people are experiencing reactions in adulthood after a allergic-free childhood.
With continuously weakening of immune systems due to the dietary issues based on introduction of unhealthy foods and lifestyle, more people are becoming susceptible to allergens. Illnesses and pregnancy also make adults react to substances, which were originally harmless throughout their lives.
Another major cause of allergic reactions in adults is exposure to high amounts of allergens—more than they had experienced in childhood. The threshold of the allergens amount in the atmosphere may cause these people to develop serious new reactions for their first time.