Can You Get Allergies If You’ve Never Had Them?

In the past, you may have pitied others walking around in the springtime sneezing, itching, and coughing. You were glad to not be among them! But suddenly, you may find that you’re getting those same nagging respiratory symptoms and head congestion when the trees, flowers, and plants start blooming. Alternatively, you might develop a more serious allergy too, such as reactions to shellfish, nuts, and bees. Unfortunately, it’s true that allergies can develop later in life! If you suspect new allergies, a doctor can perform allergy testing to make a diagnosis.

How Common Are Adult Allergies?

In 2018, there are about 18 million adults in the US living with allergies, according to WebMD. Environmental pathogens, such as grasses, weeds, and pollen are the most common causes of adult-onset allergies. However, adults can also develop allergies to dogs, cats, and dust mites. Some adults will develop food allergies later in life, and some may become allergic to medications. What complicates adult allergy statistics a bit is that doctors aren’t always sure whether their patients actually developed a full-blown allergy later in life, or if they had mild allergies before but were never officially diagnosed.

What Causes Allergies To Develop?

There are a variety of reasons why Las Vegas allergies might develop. One link that professionals have found with allergies is genetics. Parents who have allergies are likely to pass it along to their children. Surprisingly, the allergy is often more severe in the offspring! Along with parent-child genetics, the prevalence of an allergy in one sibling means that other siblings are more likely to get it. This is especially true of identical twins, who develop the same allergy roughly 75% of the time. When you go for allergy testing, your doctor will ask you about any family history of allergies.

Along with genetics, allergies can also develop from exposure to certain environmental conditions. If you live in a city or crowded area, you are more likely to develop an environmental allergy from exposure to air pollutants. In contrast, if you live in a more rural area, you are more likely to develop allergies to pollen, which is produced from plants, flowers, and trees. There are many types of pollen that you can become allergic to, but some of the most common types of pollen allergies come from sagebrush, grasses, and ragweed.

Quite often, your symptoms might indicate the presence of allergies. Seasonal allergies often produce respiratory symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, and itchy, watery eyes. Food allergies and allergies to bee stings can produce more serious symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, and even life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

However, some illnesses can also produce symptoms of seasonal allergies and respiratory discomfort. Therefore, your best bet is to go to a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. He or she will listen to your list of symptoms and perform a skin test to check for a reaction to an allergen. A blood test can also detect an allergy. Based on the results, your doctor might prescribe medications for relief.