What Are Adult Onset Allergies
Adult-onset allergies are those allergy symptoms that manifest later in life. This could be anywhere from younger adulthood, such as in a persons 20s, to a persons senior years, when they are 70 or 80 years old. Typically, if you lived through your 20s and your 30s without any new allergies, the chances of getting adult-onset allergies diminishes.
The strangest part about adult-onset allergies is that you can wake up today irritated by an allergen that didnt bother you yesterday. You could have been in contact with said allergen every single day for years with no adverse effects. Now, you have a runny nose, itching eyes and uncontrollable sneezing around that allergen.
My Pet Allergies Appeared At Age 30
A few years ago, at the age of 30, I began feeling itchy after being around dogs and cats .
I remember visiting a friends house and seeing pet hair on the couches and carpet. I thought nothing of it until I made it home later the same day. I began to itch and broke out in hives.
My reactions were delayed so I wasnt sure the exact reason for my symptoms. Also, I didnt sneeze or have a stuffy nose, so I wasnt experiencing the typical symptoms youd expect with allergy.
A few weeks later I visited my aunt and stayed the night at her house. The house was full of cats and dogs. The next morning I woke up with hives all over my body. It was obvious: I was allergic to pets and was experiencing symptoms that I never had growing up.
I grew up with dogs and had never experienced allergy symptoms. Nor had I felt different when I visited friends and family members had cats.
I thought to myself, What is going on with my immune system?. Why was I reacting to all these harmless things in my environment? Could I have developed allergies later in life?
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Take your infant to an allergist who will conduct skin tests to determine if she’s allergic to cats. He might prescribe medication to treat the symptoms and offer suggestions to help manage the allergies. Allergy shots can reduce the severity of symptoms over time, but are unsafe for kids under age 5, according to WebMD.
If the cat allergies are severe, your best bet is to give the cat up for adoption to protect your infant’s health. Keep in mind that even if you remove the cat, it can take up to six months to lower the allergen levels in your home and notice a lessening of your infant’s allergic symptoms, according to the KidsHealth website.
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Why Do Some Scientists Think Pets Help Reduce Allergy Risks
The whole idea that your pooch might lower allergy risks in children comes from the idea that when babies are raised in a pristine environment and lack exposure to germs, theyre more susceptible to allergic diseases. This proposal is called the hygiene hypothesis.
But for years, the underlying cause of the hypothetical protective pet effect has been disputed. Some attribute it to pet allergens, which are specific proteins present in dog and cat dander that we inhale. But more and more studies are starting to point towards the hygiene hypothesis: It may not be the pets themselves that are beneficial, but instead the multitudes of microbes that travel inside them.
When a 2010 study examined the types of bacteria and fungi in the dust of U.S. households, researchers were surprised to see that homes with dogs had a far greater abundance of bacteria than those with no pets. The discovery told us for the first time that there really is a microbial signal that coincides with pet ownership, says microbiologist Susan Lynch, from the University of California, San Francisco: pets bring germs to your house that wouldnt be there otherwise.
Lynch, however, prefers to remain cautious before making too much of her results. Microbes may well be important, but the evidence is still a work in progress. I would say that we are a long way from even understanding what happens, she says. You dont want to play around with that until you know exactly what youre doing.
Whats The Best Way To Treat Pet Allergies
The best treatment option depends on the kinds of reactions your child has to his pet. Typically, for common allergic reactions of the eyes or nose, you can get a prescription medicine to counter the symptoms. Please be aware that some people think they can just take any over-the-counter product but many of these often have undesirable side effects, such as drowsiness. Fortunately, there are several non-drowsy preparations available over the counter these days.
Allergen immunotherapy, or allergy shots, is the ultimate allergy therapy for many people with allergies. It works by retraining the immune system to be more tolerant of environmental allergens. Immunotherapy is a long-term solution and often provides decades of relief. This is most beneficial in cases where someone cannot avoid exposure to the animal or if the allergic reactions cannot be relieved with medications.
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Signs Of Allergies In Toddlers
Allergy symptoms usually come on suddenly and usually last for as long as a child is exposed to the allergen. Symptoms can include:
- Runny nose with clear drainage
At first, it can be difficult for parents to tell the difference between allergies or an infection such as a cold, said Jameel T. Clark, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Childrens Medical Group Dixie. One telltale sign it may be allergies is if your child is rubbing their nose and eyes. They may develop a line on their nose from rubbing the nose.
Baby’s First Year Important For Pet Allergies
13 June 11
Rover and Fluffy are unlikely to raise kids’ risk of developing pet allergies, and could lower them, according to a new 18-year-long study.
The results showed that, for most of the childhood years, being exposed to a dog or cat had little effect on later allergies. However, exposure lowered the risk for some children if they were exposed to a pet during their first year of life.
Researchers studied 565 18-year-olds who had been followed from birth. They found that only during the first year of life did exposure to dogs and cats have a major effect on later sensitivity to the animal .
“We think this is a critical window,” said study author Ganesa Wegienka, an epidemiologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Expectant mothers were recruited between 1987 and 1989 from the Detroit metro area as part of the Detroit Childhood Allergy Study, and it was their children who took part. Researchers used annual interviews to determine dog and cat exposure.
Most children with pets in the home during their first year of life had a reduced risk of allergies. Both boys and girls with a cat at home during this time had about half the risk of being sensitized to cats later on in life, and boys with a dog at home during this time had half the risk of being sensitized to dogs later on.
Girls with a dog at home during their first year had an increased risk of later being sensitized.
C-Sections, pets and allergies
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Can A Child Have A Fever With Allergies
Allergies dont directly cause fever. If your little one has a fever, its a sign of an infection like a cold, ear infection or sinus infection.
Keep in mind, many people confuse seasonal allergies with a sinus infection . While they may be linked, theyre actually two different conditions:
- Seasonal allergies are an inflammation of the nasal passages that’s caused by allergens like pollen and grass.
- A sinus infection often starts as a cold and turns into a bacterial infection, although allergies can also cause sinusitis. Aside from fever, other sinusitis symptoms may include thick, discolored nasal discharge pain and tenderness around the nose, cheeks, eyes or forehead nasal congestion and inflammation and achiness in the jaw.
What Is The Best Treatment For Pet Allergy
The best treatment is to avoid contact with cats or dogs or the areas where they live. Keep pets out of your home. If possible, try to avoid visiting homes with pets that you are allergic to. Avoiding cats and dogs may give you enough relief that you will not need medicine.
Keeping the pet outdoors will help, but will not rid the house of pet allergens. Another option is to choose pets that do not have fur or feathers. Fish, snakes or turtles are some choices.
Pet allergy can be a social problem making it difficult to visit friends and relatives who have cats and dogs . This may be especially troublesome for children who cannot participate in activities at the home of friends. Talk to your doctor about possible use of medication before these social exposures and specific measures to take after the exposure.
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Signs An Infant Has A Dog Allergy
Kids love pets, so parents may not realize that their infants have dog allergies until they have already adopted and bonded with a puppy. When suspicions allergy symptoms appear, it may be too late to break up the budding relationship. Parents can look for signs of infant and child allergy problems before deciding on pet ownership. The American Kennel Club suggests exposing family members to various dog breeds ahead of time and KidsHealth recommends allergy skin testing 1.
Encourage Hand Washing Showering And Changing Clothes After Playing With Your Pet
If your childs allergies are mild and you allow them to play with your pet, make sure you instill the importance of handwashing and bathing after. Also, have them put their clothes in a separate laundry bin from the clothes not coming into contact with your pet. This can limit the transfer of dander between the clothes. Consider having a specific set of old clothes for your child to play in when they are near the pet. This ensures that no dander becomes stuck or embedded into clothes they wear regularly.
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Dog Allergy In Babies: Symptoms Causes Treatment And Prevention
Animal allergies, like those of dogs and cats, affect 10 to 20% of people worldwide, and it has become a public health concern .
Some parents avoid having pets for the first few years of their children. However, if the pet is already there by the time the baby is born or you have adopted a dog for various reasons, then it is good to know if your baby is allergic to dogs.
In this MomJunction post, we tell you about the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of dog allergies in babies.
Family Pets And Your Preemie’s Health Problems
As part of discharge planning, parents often ask about their pets. They wonder if the dogs and cats who are already a part of the family will increase their premature baby’s risk of allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems as they grow. The answer is complicated, and scientists still aren’t exactly sure how pet ownership affects allergies and asthma. But there are many things you can do to safely keep your pet at home.
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Approach To The Allergic Child
Identification of patients at risk:
There is a genetic predisposition to develop allergic disease however, environmental exposure determines to what a patient will become sensitized and also the severity of the disease . To decrease the frequency and severity of the sensitization, one can identify patients at risk by taking a good family history. If there is no close relative with allergies, the incidence is about 12%, but if one parent suffers from allergies, the incidence rises to 30% to 50%. If both parents have allergies, the chances of having an allergic child are 50% to 80%. Babies of allergic mothers are more likely to develop allergies than babies of allergic fathers . Measurement of cord blood IgE has been used to further predict whether a child would develop allergies. Initially, it was believed that this would have great predictive value , but recent studies have shown that family history is more important .
Although the tendency to develop allergic disease is inherited, disease manifests itself after sensitization to dietary and environmental allergens. Conditions that decrease mucosal immunity and/or allow the increased absorption of allergens increase the likelihood of sensitization .
When Do Pet Allergies Show Up In Babies
Many concerned parents want to know: When do babies develop allergies to pets?
The length of time an allergy takes to develop can vary. When you first get a pet, your child might not have an allergic reaction immediately.
In many cases, the child must be exposed to the allergen for several months before they develop symptoms.
Babies are more likely to develop a pet allergy if you or your partner is prone to allergies. Even if you dont have pet allergies, this genetic predisposition can manifest differently in your child.
If youre thinking about getting a pet, but youre not sure if your baby is allergy-prone or not, you should wait until theyre about 6 years old.
The symptoms of allergies tend to manifest less severely in older children.
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Cat Allergy And Newborns
If you are bringing home a newborn, keep your baby and cats apart for the first three months. Cats like soft cozy places to sleep, and babies sleep a lot in the beginning, so it is tempting for a cat to cuddle up in the bassinet. If your baby is premature , you need to be extra-careful to keep the cat away from your baby. A neonates immature lungs cannot cope with the irritating allergens produced by a cat.
What Causes Seasonal Allergies In Babies And Toddlers
Seasonal allergy symptoms usually occur during spring, summer and fall. Depending on where you live, the seasons and specific plants causing allergies vary. Unfortunately, no region of the United States is completely untouched by allergy triggers.
When your little one inhales one of the following seasonal allergens, her immune system churns out antibodies that jumpstart the release of a protein called histamine, which causes allergy symptoms:
- Spring allergies : Tree pollen. The most common culptrits cedar, birch, oak, maple and pine are found in most parts of the U.S. The farther south you live, the earlier the season usually starts.
- Late spring to summer allergies : Grass pollen. Grasses, including Bermuda, orchard, brome, rye and Timothy, are more likely to produce symptoms in late spring and early summer in the northern states, but are always problematic in the South, since grasses there pollinate year-round.
- Late summer to fall allergies : Weed pollen . Ragweed grows in nearly every climate and is the biggest source of hay fever symptoms.
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How An Allergist Can Help You
As soon as you spot symptoms that may potentially indicate an allergy to your dog in your child, you should make your GP aware of this, and work with them to first of all narrow down the source of the allergy. Your doctor may well refer you to a specialist allergist to further investigate this, particularly if your child is very young, or very acutely affected by their allergies.
Allergists are specialist doctors and scientists who will work with you to narrow down the source of your babys reactions, which may mean undertaking a range of tests and exposure trials on your baby to find out what the problem is. Some of the potential tests that may be required include:
- Skin patch testing, in which a small area of your babys skin will be exposed to potential allergies in order to identify the cause. This type of testing is indicated if your baby suffers from hives or rashes.
- Skin prick testing, in which a suspected allergen will be deliberately placed on the skin, and the skin then pierced lightly at surface level to abrade it and encourage the potentially allergenic compound to enter the body. Your baby will then be monitored carefully for their reactions.
- Intradermal testing involves injecting a small amount of the suspected allergen under the skin, which allows a result to be achieved with more precision than other options once certain potential triggers have been ruled out.
Food Allergies And Intolerance
Few subjects in paediatrics evoke as much controversy as food allergies. Allergic reactions to foods are an important clinical problem because of both their frequency during early life and the potential for life-threatening reactions. Adverse reactions to foods are divided into two general categories: nonimmunological reactions and immunological reactions .
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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 youre interested in either option, speak to an experienced allergist.
When Does A Person Develop Allergies
Allergies can develop at any point in a persons life. One factor that increases your chance is your family history. If one parent is allergic there is a 30-50% chance of their offspring developing allergies. This jumps to 60-80% if both parents are allergic.
In many cases, allergies first present early in life, during infancy or the toddler years. Most of these allergies will be lifelong concerns, although some can resolve on their own.
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