Are Allergies Worse In Childhood Or Adulthood
Per the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and 2013 data, 28 million kids across the United States have allergies. As many as 50 million adults may get reactions to allergens as well.
While more adults have allergies in the United States than children, is there an age group that has it worse? Research that appeared in a 2012 article at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Massachusetts suggests that adults may be the most at risk for intense, serious symptoms. Adult behaviors such as taking certain medications and drinking alcohol may increase risk for severe anaphylaxis. Exercise and having asthma can also increase reaction severity. Of course, young children who cannot communicate symptoms can also have severe reactions which go unnoticed and progress to dangerous levels.
A severe allergic reaction, which can be triggered by foods or venom , is called anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening emergency condition in which the patient goes into shock, cannot breathe, and may have vomiting, nausea, and skin rashes. Anaphylaxis symptoms can occur instantaneously or sometimes minutes after eating an allergen or being stung. Epinephrine can control cases of anaphylaxis that are caught immediately. The longer the patient goes without treatment, the greater the likelihood that death can occur. For this reason patients with a history of severe anaphylaxis are encouraged to always have an in date epinephrine injector available.
What Causes Allergies Later In Life
Just like childhood allergies, we do not completely understand why some people develop allergies and others dont. We do know there are complex genetic and environmental factors involved. Scientists have proposed theories about why allergies occur, including the hygiene hypothesis that attributes allergic disease in part to the use of antimicrobials and the high standard of cleanliness in modern societies.
Adults can also present with new-onset environmental allergies. In some cases, the patient may have had a tendency to develop allergies all along, but their environment changed, putting them in more contact with the triggering allergen .
Allergic Rhinitis Is A Common And Debilitating Disease
- Allergic rhinitis affects around 18% of people in Australia and New Zealand.
- Allergic rhinitis predisposes people to more frequent sinus infections.
- People with allergic rhinitis are often tired due to poor sleep quality.
- Moderate or severe allergic rhinitis can affect general health, impair learning, increase time off work, and reduce productivity.
- Around 80% of people with asthma have allergic rhinitis, which can make asthma difficult to control.
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What Medications Can Cause An Allergy Cough
Ironically, some medications used to treat allergies can also cause cough.
Second-generation antihistamines like Claritin and Zyrtec are able to do this without the drowsiness associated with earlier-generation drugs. However, one of the common side effects of these popular over-the-counter drugs is a cough.
This is because antihistamines have a drying effect that can leave the throat feeling scratchy. Even so, the cough is generally mild and will clear once you stop treatment.
Why Allergic Reactions Happen
Your immune system has an important job: to defend your body from invaders such as bacteria and viruses that mean you harm.
But when it makes war on substances it shouldnât, thatâs an allergy.
Peanuts, eggs, or pollen, for example, can trigger reactions. They are called allergens.
During a reaction, your immune system releases antibodies. These are proteins that deliver a message to cells: Stop that substance! The cells then send out histamine, which causes blood vessels to expand, and other chemicals, and these trigger the allergy symptoms.
These antibodies are singled-minded. Each one targets only one type of allergen. That explains why someone might be allergic to peanuts but not to eggs.
You can come into contact with allergens in many ways: through the skin, eyes, nose, mouth, or stomach. This can cause your sinuses to clog up, inflame your skin, make it harder to breathe, or cause stomach problems.
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Can Allergies Cause A Fever
No, allergies do not cause a fever. Allergies are not caused by a virus and therefore cannot cause a fever. If you experience common allergy symptoms along with a fever, then you may be suffering from a cold, flu, bacterial infection or another infection. If you have itchy, watery eyes, then you likely have allergies itchy, watery eyes are uncommon with a cold or flu virus.
How Does A Person Become Allergic
Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergic reactions, such as hay fever, certain types of asthma, and hives are linked to an antibody produced by the body called immunoglobulin E . Each IgE antibody can be very specific, reacting against certain pollens and other allergens. In other words, a person can be allergic to one type of pollen, but not another. When a susceptible person is exposed to an allergen, the body starts producing a large quantity of similar IgE antibodies. The next exposure to the same allergen may result in an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary depending on the type and amount of allergen encountered and the manner in which the body’s immune system reacts to that allergen.
Allergies can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Generally, allergies are more common in children. However, a first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission. Hormones, stress, smoke, perfume, or environmental irritants may also play a role in the development or severity of allergies.
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What Is Anaphylactic Shock
Anaphylactic shock, also called anaphylaxis, is a severe, life-threatening reaction to certain allergens. Body tissues may swell, including tissues in the throat. Anaphylactic shock is also characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure. The following are the most common symptoms of anaphylactic shock. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Other symptoms may include:
Itching and hives over most of the body
Swelling of the throat and tongue or tightness in throat
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Can Allergies Cause A Cough Cold And Allergies
Since cold and allergies have been mistaken for each other every time someone starts coughing, then we certainly need to clear up what exactly cold and allergies are. The first thing we need to focus on is their causes. Both have different causes, you can only get a cold when a living organism such as a virus gets into your body. This way your body activates its immune system to counterattack which leads to you having cold-like symptoms such as a fever or stuffed up nose. Viruses that have the ability to give you a cold is contagious so you can get them from people who are infected through a cough or sneeze etc.
Allergies are a little different. People who are allergic to things have an overactive immune system. Your body keeps on mistaking things like dust or pollen as a virus. Due to this, they release a chemical called histamine that swells up your noses passageway resulting in you getting symptoms like sneezing or coughing.
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You’re Alone With Your Thoughts And Sniffles
Why do allergies get worse at night? “Besides the fact that all illnesses feel worse at night?” quipped Dr. Rosenstreich. “When you’re busy during the day, you might forget about it and feel a little better,” said Dr. Rosenstreich. “When you’re lying in bed, most people aren’t thinking about anything else, and symptoms feel much worse.”
For that reason, nighttime is prime time to try over-the-counter allergy meds, said Dr. Rosenstreich. Look for an oral antihistamine or a corticosteroid nasal spray that can help limit congestion and reduce inflammation.
Take Allergy Medication Effectively
It can be daunting with the amount of different allergy medications available, but itâs important to choose the right one and make sure youâre taking it to its full effectiveness.
Read the directions carefully before use. If a medication doesn’t work like itâs supposed to or is giving side effects, you should speak with your doctor.
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How To Get Tested
A food allergy will usually cause some sort of reaction every time the trigger food is eaten. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and you may not always experience the same symptoms during every reaction. Allergic reactions to food can affect the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system. It is impossible to predict how severe the next reaction might be, and all patients with food allergies should be carefully counseled about the risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction that is treated with epinephrine .
While food allergies may develop at any age, most appear in early childhood. If you suspect a food allergy, see an allergist, who will take your family and medical history, decide which tests to perform and use this information to determine if a food allergy exists.
To make a diagnosis, allergists ask detailed questions about your medical history and your symptoms. Be prepared to answer questions about:
- What and how much you ate
- How long it took for symptoms to develop
- What symptoms you experienced and how long they lasted.
After taking your history, your allergist may order skin tests and/or blood tests, which indicate whether food-specific immunoglobulin E antibodies are present in your body:
Your allergist will use the results of these tests in making a diagnosis. A positive result does not necessarily indicate that there is an allergy, though a negative result is useful in ruling one out.
When They Get Worse
Other things also make a big difference. All it takes is a heavy pollen season, or a new job in a moldy building, for allergies to flare up.
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What Are The Types Of Allergies And How Are They Treated
You can be allergic to a wide variety of substances including pollen, animal dander, mold and dust mites.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an allergic response to pollen. It causes inflammation and swelling of the lining of your nose and of the protective tissue of your eyes .
Symptoms include sneezing, congestion , and itchy, watery eyes, nose and mouth. Treatment options include over-the-counter and prescription oral antihistamines, anti-leukotrienes, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines, and nasal cromolyn. In some people, allergic asthma symptoms can be caused by exposure to pollen.
Your symptoms can be reduced by avoiding pollen. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, close your windows, and use air conditioning. Ask your healthcare provider about immunotherapy to treat pollen allergy.
Dust mites are tiny organisms that live in dust and in the fibers of household objects, such as pillows, mattresses, carpet, and upholstery. Dust mites grow in warm, humid areas.
The symptoms of dust mite allergy are similar to those of pollen allergy. To help manage dust mite allergies, try using dust mite encasements over pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Also, remove carpet, or vacuum frequently with a high-efficiency filter vacuum cleaner. Treatment may include medications to control your nasal/eye and chest symptoms. Immunotherapy may be recommended if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with avoidance methods and medications.
Cat Allergies In Infants
There is ongoing debate among scientists whether infants who are exposed to animals at a very young age are destined to develop allergies, or if the opposite is true. Recent studies have come to conflicting conclusions. A 2015 study found that exposing infants to cats and dogs at home is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies during the first four years of the childs life.
On the other hand, a 2011 study found that babies who live with cats, especially during the first year of life, develop antibodies to the pet and were less likely to acquire an allergy later.
A 2017 study found that cats and dogs may provide a benefit by exposing babies to certain healthy bacteria early in life. The study concluded that babies exposed to a cat or dog in the home during pregnancy may have fewer problems with allergies in the future than babies who werent exposed.
Your doctor will be able to answer questions you may have about your baby and your cat. For children who are allergic, removing fabric toys and stuffed animals and replacing them with plastic or washable ones may help relieve symptoms.
Avoidance is best to prevent the allergies in the first place. But if you discover youre allergic to your cat, there are other options than getting rid of your pet. Consider these strategies for reducing your symptoms.
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How Being Inside Can Worsen Allergy Symptoms
For millions of allergy sufferers, symptoms arent restricted to one season the suffering can last for months. And whats inside your home may have an even bigger impact than outdoor allergens.
Allergies can be all year long, or they could be seasonal, Dr. Jordan Josephson, a New York nasal and endoscopic sinus surgeon told FoxNews.com. And seasonal doesnt mean just one season, so you could be allergic to certain things in the summer, certain things in the spring, certain things in the fall, he said.
And as people retreat into their homes and batten down the hatches to hide from winters wrath, its easy to forget about what is getting trapped inside your home with you. Pollen, dust, bacteria and other allergy-aggravating agents are easily tracked inside the home on shoes, coats or even with pets.
An easy solution to cut down on what follows you inside is to simply take off your shoes when entering the home.
You dont want to track in all the E.coli, local pesticides you dont want to take that into your home, Robin Wilson, an ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Association for America and a home designer, told FoxNews.com.
And leave your outerwear coat in the hallway closet rather than putting it in an interior closet to avoid contamination, Wilson said, because theres a good chance pollen is lurking on it.
Allergies can also be more than a pesky ailment to sufferers.
Not all allergy treatment has to include medication, according to both Josephson and Wilson.
What You Need To Know
- Allergies are the result of your immune systems response to a substance.
- Immune responses can be mild, from coughing and a runny nose, to a life-threatening reaction know as anaphylaxis.
- A person becomes allergic when their body develops antigens against a substance. Upon repeated exposure the severity of the reaction may increase.
- Allergies affect people of all ages, races, genders and socioeconomic statuses.
Allergic disease is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the world. People with a family history of allergies have an increase risk of developing allergic disease. Hay fever , eczema, hives, asthma, and food allergy are some types of allergic diseases. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction .
Allergic reactions begin in your immune system. When a harmless substance such as dust, mold, or pollen is encountered by a person who is allergic to that substance, the immune system may over react by producing antibodies that “attack” the allergen. The can cause wheezing, itching, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, and other symptoms.
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Fred Little:Unlike somebody with a food allergy, who can control their exposure to that food, its very hard to control exposure to pollens, as theyre so pervasive. Even indoors: as we come in and out of our houses, we wear the clothes we were wearing outdoors and bring pollens into the house. There are some things that can be done to minimize pollen levels in the house. For one, if you have the resources, keep windows closed during the night and day and use air conditioners to keep the air cool. For people with really bad allergies to pollens, they might want to change out of their outside clothes when they come inside and wash them . That can be helpful for people who have severe allergies and want to keep the house as pollen-free as possible. But no house or apartment is airtight, so it can be hard to keep the outdoor environment from coming indoors.
Limit Your Exposure To Allergens
Once you know which allergens are causing your symptoms, you can reduce your exposure to them. For example, if youre allergic to pollen, you can try to stay indoors on days when pollen counts are high.
You can check online with your local weather station to find your local pollen report. You should try to keep your windows closed if you have air-conditioning. If you do spend time outside, its important to bathe and change your clothing as soon as you come inside.
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Hay Fever Symptoms From Pollen Allergies
Hay fever may also be referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis, if the symptoms appear only when it is pollen season. Hay fever originally only referred to allergies caused by grass pollens, but the term is now also used to describe the symptoms of rhinitis . This can occur throughout the year.
Allergies to pollen commonly cause symptoms of hay fever including:
- runny, itchy, congested nose
- irritable, itchy, watery and red eyes
- itchy ears, throat and palate.
People with hay fever are more likely to develop sinus infections, and can have interrupted sleep that leads to extreme tiredness. Severe hay fever symptoms can affect learning in children and productivity in adults. Hay fever can also make it more difficult to control asthma in those who are more likely to get it.