Patients in Crystal Lake ask Allergy Center: Why do some allergies strike in adulthood?

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, the board-certified physicians specialize in child and adult asthma, allergies, and immunotherapy. With a comprehensive array of diagnostic and treatment options, Dr. Noga Askenazi and the team 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 and 2445 Westfield Drive in Elgin, Illinois.

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Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | Meredith Cirrincione

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, Ascension Health, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.


Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.