Patients in Crystal Lake ask Allergy Center: Why do some allergies strike in adulthood?
About half of all new allergies occur in adults, frequently in those in their forties. The most common causes of allergies that start in adulthood are pollen, dust mites, mold, and animal dander. Certain food allergies can emerge after years of eating the food with no reaction.
Some allergies may seem to strike unexpectedly, but may actually be childhood allergies that have faded then reappeared. The allergy may also have been present but not diagnosed until the symptoms worsened. Symptoms may seem more severe in adulthood because of several factors:
- The immune system has become sensitized to the trigger, creating a stronger reaction over time
- Exposure to the allergen is greater than in childhood
- Seasonal allergies can evolve from one cause, such as grass, to another, such as mold or dust mites
New allergies do emerge in adulthood. The most common triggers are:
- Shellfish – one of the top food allergies for adults, often caused by shrimp, crab, or lobster
- Environment – changing jobs, offices, houses, or moving to a new area can create exposure to new allergens. Office or work allergens can include chemicals, dust, latex, or certain grains. New houses or neighborhoods may increase contact with different pollen, ventilation systems, pet dander, mold, or dust mites.
- Immune system – other food allergies can actually be caused by an initial reaction to pollens or other environment allergens. Referred to as oral allergy, this condition is caused when the body recognizes certain proteins in foods that are similar to those in the original allergen, such as pollen. Unexpected allergies to foods that have been tolerated for years are common.
Sudden or “new” allergies may also have been developing for three to five years before a reaction occurs.
At Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates in Crystal Lake, Elgin, and Lake Zurich, Illinois, the board certified physicians specialize in child and adult asthma, allergies, and immunotherapy. With a comprehensive array of diagnostic and treatment options, Drs. Noga Askenazi, Dipika Patel, and Eugenia Hahn are committed to helping patients identify the type and causes of allergies and to providing the most effective treatments to restore quality of life.
Appointments and consultations may be conveniently scheduled online or at 847 888 8802. Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates offices are located in three communities: 730 East Terra Cotta Avenue in Crystal Lake, 350 Surryse Road in Lake Zurich, and 2445 Westfield Drive in Elgin, Illinois.