How To Know What You’re Allergic To
Since it takes a while for the allergy to build up and hammer you, it can take a while to track down what’s driving it. You don’t have to know exactly which grass or tree is your nemesis—dosing up with OTC allergy medication can usually squelch symptoms .
Another path, which I took, is to visit an allergist. I got tested for 46 different allergens, and all but one—a slight allergy to dust mites—came back negative.
I decided to try OTC medications and rolled through a few, none of which had any effect on me whatsoever. After months of that, my allergist offered another diagnosis altogether: What I likely had was an almost-allergy. In some people, artificial fragrances create symptoms that mimic an allergic reaction, but they’re not actually allergies. I probably was hypersensitive to some manufactured scents and perfumes.
How We Diagnose Allergies
The good news is that allergies are often simple to diagnose. Dr. Ziegner can pinpoint the cause of your allergy symptoms with a skin test, and she may order additional tests, such as blood tests to confirm a suspected allergy. We use insight from these tests, along with a detailed medical and symptom history, to make a diagnosis.
If you suspect that you have a food allergy, it’s helpful to record your daily diet and symptoms in a journal for a few weeks before your appointment.
You can get relief from allergies that are making you miserable. Scheduling an appointment with an allergist is the first step to gaining control of your allergies.
To learn more about how we diagnose and treat allergies, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ziegner by calling our Redondo Beach, California, office. You can also send us a message here on our website or request an appointment online. We’re ready to guide you through effective allergy management.
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Getting Help For Allergies
See a GP if you think you or your child might have had an allergic reaction to something.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.
A GP can help determine whether it’s likely you have an allergy.
If they think you might have a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to help manage the condition.
If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.
Know Where To Go For Allergy Care: Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center
Allergies can begin in childhood, adulthood and anytime in between. If you’re dealing with a new or persistent case of allergies, we encourage you to reach out to us at Carolina Asthma & Allergy. We serve patients throughout North and South Carolina and work with traditional allergy treatment methods as well as allergy shots and allergy drops.
Our board-certified doctors are experts in food allergies, asthma, insect bite allergies and other uncommon, yet often serious allergies that require specialized care. We even offer anaphylaxis prevention and treatment, immunotherapy care and treatments for the lungs, skin, throat, nose, ears, and eyes. To set up your appointment today, contact us today!
Whats The Difference Between A Food Allergy And A Sensitivity
Many people think that lactose intolerance and a milk allergy are the same, but these are actually two distinct conditions. Lactose intolerance is a food sensitivity, while a milk allergy is a type of allergy. Food allergies and sensitivities involve different systems and responses in your body. They also have distinct sets of symptoms and pose different health risks.
Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago
Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood. In many patients; however, the symptoms will disappear or are significantly reduced after puberty. After age 20, symptoms may begin to reappear.
Researchers have tracked this tendency for reappearing asthma and found that people with childhood asthma tend to experience reappearing symptoms through their 30s and 40s at various levels of severity.
Regardless of whether your asthma is active, you should continue to avoid your known triggers and keep your “rescue” medications or prescriptions up-to-date and handy in case you need them.
Adult Allergies Dont Have To Be So Miserable
Like anything, adulthood has its perks and its drawbacks. But, you probably didn’t expect to add “adult allergies” to the list of negatives of growing up.
As it turns out, developing an allergy as you get older isn’t all that rare. That’s not all bad news, because it means there are tons of medications and treatment options that can help you reduce or even prevent your symptoms.
So, if you think your itching and sneezing is actually related to allergies, now’s the time to take action and get the relief you deserve. After all, one of the many advantages of adulthood is being able to take control over your own health.
When To See A Doctor
Some allergy symptoms are mild and can be treated with reduced exposure to the allergen or by taking medication.
But some symptoms are severe enough to disrupt your life, or even life threatening.
Seek emergency medical help, or have someone around you get help if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- feeling abnormally dizzy
- abnormal swelling of the tongue or throat
- rash or hives across your body
- abdominal cramps
What Does The Data Say About When We Develop Peanut Allergies
A new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recently looked at survey data from 40,443 participants and found that one in five adults with peanut allergies actually developed them after the age of 18, accounting for roughly 800,000 people out of four million with that particular allergy.
Because people often associate allergies as something that’s diagnosed in children, many doctors don’t think to test adult patients for it if there are common symptoms. If people don’t realize that they’ve developed a peanut allergy, they may consume foods that have peanuts in them or be in the vicinity of peanut products, triggering a reaction that could be damaging or fatal. This is especially true since they won’t have an adrenaline shot, medication, or other fast-acting course of treatment.
No one knows for sure what causes peanut allergies to develop later in life, but one working theory is that people who have pollen sensitivities may develop allergies to plant-based foods like fruits and nuts as well. Scientists are clear, however, that far more research needs to be done in this arena to understand how allergies evolve over time and what signs adults need to watch out for.
Who Is At Risk For Adult
Most people who are diagnosed with allergies as adults probably had an allergic episode earlier in life that they don’t remember. Often allergies follow a predictable course: and food allergies in babies and toddlers, then hay fever symptoms in mid-to-late childhood. Allergy symptoms may fade during the teen years, only to return when you’re an adult.
Some people, however, do experience allergy symptoms for the first time in adulthood. This most often happens in your twenties, thirties, and forties rather than in later years. “As we age, our immune system does weaken — that is why more seniors get than 20-year-olds,” says Anthony J. Weido, MD, president of Allergy & Asthma Associates in Houston, Texas, and the Gulf Coast area. “As the immune system weakens, the hyper-allergic reaction also weakens,” he says.
Any type of allergy can occur in adulthood, including hay fever, pet allergies, and dust mite and mold allergies as well as insect bite, drug, and food allergies. Again, experts aren’t entirely sure why this happens, but theories include:
- being exposed to allergens when the immune system is weakened, such as during an illness or pregnancy
- not being exposed to a high enough level of the allergen as a child but reaching that threshold in adulthood
- moving to a new location with different trees, plants, and grasses
- getting a pet
Can You Prevent Allergies From Developing Later In Life
While there aren’t necessarily steps you can take to stop a specific allergy from ever developing, one of the best things you can do is visit an allergist to see if you may be allergic to any common substances, like peanuts, pollen, wheat, soy, or insect venom.
Even if you think you’re perfectly healthy, that trip to an allergist can give you a more in-depth look — and potentially be life-saving. The recommended frequency is to visit an allergist every two years, but you may be able to spread that out more if you don’t have a history of allergies.
In terms of signs to look out for if you’ve never experienced an allergic reaction, symptoms differ by person as well as the type and amount of peanut products consumed. In mild cases, many people throat tightness, shortness of breath, itchiness in or near the throat and mouth, and skin redness or hives. More severe reactions may include dizziness, a quickening pulse, drops in blood pressure, and blocked airways.
Based on a reaction you’ve had or your visit to an allergist, you may need to start carrying an adrenaline shot, often called an EpiPen, just in case you have a reaction. Some allergies, especially if they’re severe in nature, require long-term medication as well.
The important thing though is to talk to your doctor before you make any changes. And hopefully you won’t have to give up peanut butter!
How Common Are They
Nearly 18 million adults in the United States have hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. Itâ€™s caused by pollens, weeds, grasses, and molds. Many more have allergic reactions to other things in the environment, like dust mites, dogs, and cats. Some are allergic to foods, like peanuts or shellfish. Still others are allergic to medicines, like penicillin.
Doctors donâ€™t know exactly how many adults are diagnosed with allergies for the first time. But nasal allergies affect more Americans every years, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
â€œAs the population is aging, weâ€™re seeing that people can have late-onset allergies,â€? says Beth Corn, MD, an allergist in New York City. â€œNow, it could be that some people were not diagnosed; they might have really had allergies earlier on. It just might be that people are also a little bit more aware now of allergies.â€?
Whatever the case, allergies are all over, and theyâ€™re big business. Theyâ€™re the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., according to the CDC. And they cost Americans more than $18 billion a year.
We know what causes allergies: Your immune system overreacts to an allergen . You sneeze, sniffle, itch, or cough. But why this happens to you, when your Uncle Fred is on their third shrimp cocktail, is unclear.
â€œThatâ€™s the thing about allergies,â€? Corn says. â€œYouâ€™re fine, youâ€™re fine, youâ€™re fine … until youâ€™re not.â€?
Nobody knows why.
Can A Nut Allergy Develop After The Age Of 40
Tree nut allergies are common in both children and adults. Approximately 9% of children with a tree nut allergy eventually outgrow their tree nut allergy. In an adult, “outgrowing” or “reversing” a tree nut allergy is not common.
Tree nuts can cause severe, potentially fatal, allergic reactions. To prevent an allergic reaction, strict avoidance of tree nuts is essential. A person with an allergy to one type of tree nut has a greater chance of also being allergic to other tree nuts. Therefore, many experts advise patients with an allergy to a tree nut to avoid all tree nuts. Your allergist can help you with personalized recommendations for your care. The Food Allergy Research & Education website is also an excellent resource.
Can Allergies Be Prevented
Unfortunately, you cannot prevent the manifestation of adult-onset allergies. As we mentioned, these allergies sometimes spring up where none existed before. Other times, exposure to the allergen triggers a reaction. For those reasons, it’s difficult to say with certainty which triggers you should avoid.
While you can’t always prevent adult-onset allergies, you can treat them as they develop. If, for instance, you notice you get an adverse reaction after eating shellfish or peanuts, you should refrain from eating these foods right away. Instead, set up an appointment with an allergy provider who can test your to see what is causing your symptoms
In the case of food allergies, the best treatment is avoidance. For pet dander, pollen, and other standard allergy triggers, you can try medications, including steroid nasal sprays and antihistamines, to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. You can also try to keep yourself away from these allergens via lifestyle adjustments.
What Should I Do If I Develop Adult Onset Allergies
If you believe you have developed allergies as an adult, avoid any suspected allergens while you are waiting to see your allergist. Your allergist may order some tests such as blood or skin tests to further evaluate your allergies.
If allergy testing confirms a diagnosis of allergy, your allergist will work with you to develop a treatment plan including avoidance measures, medications, and/or other treatment options such as for environmental allergies.
How Are Allergies Treated
The first step is to avoid the things you are allergic to and try over-the-counter antihistamines. If that doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following options:
- Prescription antihistamines — Most antihistamines are now over the counter, but some are still only available by prescription.
- Nasal sprays — Medications that reduce the swelling in your nose, which cause a stuffy, runny, and itchy nose.
- Inhalers — Medications inhaled into the lungs that open your airways. Inhalers can include daily use or rescue inhalers used for immediate symptom relief.
- Allergy injections or immunotherapy — A series of injections to desensitize your immune system to the allergens which trigger your symptoms. The goal of the treatment is to retrain the immune system to recognize the allergen as not dangerous, decreasing the frequency or severity of allergy symptoms.
Allergies can be unpleasant no matter how old you are, but your doctor can help you determine what is triggering your allergies and develop a treatment plan that works for you.
We’re Careful To Keep Our School Classrooms Nut
We’re used to preparing allergy-friendly treats for the school bake sale or soccer practice, but what about your office happy hour? Most people develop food allergies as children, but those allergies can show up in adulthood, too. Even if you’ve enjoyed a certain food your entire life without a problem, you could start reacting to it at any age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1 in 25 adults has a food allergy. Most developed that allergy as children but not all. Fortunately, many kids outgrow their allergies; food allergies that start in adulthood tend to stick around, though. If you’re concerned that you have developed a new allergy, it’s best to check in with your primary doctor or allergist for testing and treatment. While occurrences rare, food allergies can cause difficulty breathing and require emergency treatment.
Can You Develop Allergies Later In Life
It is certainly possible to develop allergies in adulthood. Adult-onset allergies can occur seemingly out of nowhere due to exposure to new allergens in the environment, family history and changes in the immune system. The most common food allergies in adults are peanuts, fish, shellfish such as shrimp, lobster and tree nuts .
There’s no way to avoid getting adult-onset allergies if you’re susceptible to them, since you can’t reasonably expect to know every trigger that could cause an allergic reaction and then avoid it. In addition, there is some recent research that indicates avoiding allergens can make it more likely for an individual to develop allergies, because the immune system is unfamiliar with more substances.
Are These Symptoms Allergies
If you believe you have developed allergies, the first thing you can try is over-the-counter antihistamines to help control your symptoms. It is also a good idea to avoid the things you believe you are allergic to until you can be seen by an allergist.
An allergist can perform allergy testing to determine if you have allergies and exactly what is triggering your allergy symptoms. If testing confirms you have allergies, you can work with your doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan.
Canopy Healths Alliance Includes Respected Allergy And Immunology Specialists And Clinics
Canopy Health’s robust alliance of Bay Area physicians and hospitals includes some of the most respected allergists and immunologists in the country. If you’re a Canopy Health member, you can choose to receive treatment from any of our doctors, including allergy and immunology specialists within Meritage Medical Network, Hill Physicians, SCCIPA, John Muir Health, and UCSF’s Allergy and Immunology Clinic. To request a referral, talk to your primary care physician about our Alliance Referral Program.
What Are Treatment Options For Sudden Adult
On the bright side, allergic symptoms are rarely dangerous. There are several treatments that can help, and many of them are available .
Your doctor may want to do an allergy skin test before confirming a diagnosis. Depending on your diagnosis and severity of symptoms, treatment options may include:
- Finding and avoiding known allergens
Are There Any Special Considerations For Adults Who Develop Asthma
People with multiple medical conditions need to be aware of how their illnesses and the medications they use may affect one another.
If you take more than one medication, talk with your physician about ways to simplify your medication program. Explore the possibility of combining medications or using alternate ones that will have the same desired effect. Be sure to discuss potential drug interactions with anything you take including vitamins or herbal supplements.
Can I Develop Allergies As An Adult
After years of uninterrupted enjoyment of spring weather, or digging into that gorgeous green kiwi, you’ve noticed things aren’t quite so smooth sailing. Your eyes and throat itch, you’re coughing and sneezing, and hives are popping up all over your arms.
It can’t be allergies, you think. You’re a grown adult who’s never had problems with allergic reactions before, so you’re in the clear. Or are you?
Know What Youre Dealing With
The most common allergies in adulthood are:
Roughly 40% of people who develop allergies in adulthood develop food allergies. If you’re one of them, you must take steps to avoid the food that you’re allergic to. Adjust your lifestyle, read food labels, carefully check menus, and be careful at social gatherings where food is served.
Can You Develop Food Allergies As An Adult
One of the best parts of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood is knowing yourself better. You’re more familiar with your personal preferences, the demands of life, and your own body. At least, that’s the ideal scenario. But food allergies can throw you for a loop when they develop later in life.
Contact Canopy Health To Learn More About Our Alliance And Our Refreshingly Clear Approach
Canopy Health is revolutionizing Bay Area healthcare by giving our members incredible access to transparent, high-quality care. If you’d like to learn more about our refreshingly clear approach, contact us or by calling .
Gupta, R.S., Warren, C.M., & Smith, B.M., et al. . Prevalence and severity of food allergies among U.S. adults. JAMA Network Open. 2019;2. Retrieved from
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How Do You Treat Allergies
Most allergy treatment involves prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines, which treat allergy symptoms. As mentioned, Epinephrine is also used to treat severe allergic reactions.
Other allergy treatments include various forms of immunotherapy, most commonly allergy shots and allergy drops. Both allergy shots and allergy drops expose the immune system to small amounts of one or more allergens at predetermined intervals. Allergen doses start small, then gradually increase. The goal of the treatment is to retrain the immune system to recognize the allergen as not dangerous, decreasing the frequency or severity of allergy symptoms.
Allergy shots and allergy drops are the only current treatment methods that reduce sensitivity to an allergen itself, instead of just treating the allergy symptoms. If you’re interested in either option, speak to an experienced allergist.
How To Manage An Allergy
In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.
For example, if you have a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.
There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:
- – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
- – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
- lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
- steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can help reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction
For some people with very severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.
This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.
How To Cope With Adult
You may think of allergies as a childhood affliction, especially since many adults with allergies developed them when they were children. But adult-onset allergies are more common than you might imagine.
When allergies strike in adulthood, they tend to do so during your 20s and 30s. Suddenly having an allergy to substances in food or the environment can be a life-altering experience. The good news is that with effective allergy treatment, you can control your symptoms and live a normal life.
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Adult Onset Asthma
Regardless of age, asthma symptoms can include:
• Dry cough, especially at night or in response to specific “triggers”
• Tightness or pressure in the chest
• Wheezing — a whistling sound — when exhaling
• Shortness of breath after exercise or physical exertion
• Difficulty breathing
• Colds that go to the chest or “hang on” for 10 days or more
Food Sensitivities And Intolerances Begin In Your Digestive System
Sometimes, your digestive system can’t properly break down certain kinds of foods. When you ingest these foods, you may experience bloating, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, and gas. This type of reaction is called a food intolerance or sensitivity.
Unlike a food allergy, food sensitivities are rarely life-threatening, although they can cause plenty of pain and discomfort. You may be able to manage your food intolerance symptoms using over-the-counter enzyme replacements.