Spring is on the horizon which means warmer weather, longer days, and less shoveling! With spring comes allergens and, even if you’ve never fallen victim before, it is possible to develop allergies as an adult. If you find yourself suddenly dealing with a runny nose, scratchy throat, and a never-ending feeling of fatigue, don’t count out spring allergies.
Adult onset allergies, like hay fever, generally appear in people in their twenties and thirties but they can come on at any age.
Allergies develop when your body suddenly begins to identify a typically harmless substance as dangerous. In response, your immune system will overreact and begin to fight the substance. This leads to the release of chemicals such as histamine that can cause reactions such as itchy eyes or a runny nose.
Adult Onset Allergies
There are several theories as to why one might suddenly develop an allergy later in life:
- The hygiene hypothesis suggests that the less you’ve been exposed to a specific allergen, the more likely you are to develop an allergy to it.
- Exposure to an allergen during a time when your immune system is weakened
- Moving to an area with allergens that weren’t prevalent where you previously lived
- Having a tendency toward an allergy, such as pet dander, that was unknown until being regularly exposed to it
Don’t automatically disregard your symptoms as the common cold just because you’ve never had allergies before! Allergy symptoms will persist whereas the cold will generally go away after several days. If you are concerned that you’ve developed an allergy that cannot be treated with an over the counter antihistamine, then consider seeing a doctor.
If you’re experiencing any allergy symptom, feel free to visit our website for more information. Or, please give us a call for more information at 508-746-8977.