Allergies are typically thought to develop during childhood and wane after adolescence. However, this is simply not the case. Allergies can develop at any time in your life: in fact, nearly 18 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with hay fever or allergic rhinitis. These can be caused by increased exposure to pollen, mold, grass, and weed, or even dust, pets, food, and medications. It’s not known exactly what percentage of the population is diagnosed with allergies, but the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimated that 30% of the population suffers from some form of allergies.
Take a look at some factors that can trigger adult-onset allergies:
Changes in Your Environment
The most common period for adult-onset allergies to develop is between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. Changes to the environment are the most common factor of adult-onset allergies, as they may be triggered when you are exposed to something new such as cat dander, ragweed, or cedar pollen due to relocation.
The Hygiene Hypothesis
Many scientists speculate that allergies may develop as an adult if you were raised in an overly sanitized environment, and therefore lack a robust immune system. While there isn’t enough evidence to definitively support this argument as the underlying cause of adult-onset allergies, it is something to consider when determining where your allergies came from.
Get an Allergy Test
The only way to know for certain whether or not you have developed adult-onset allergies is to be tested by a medical professional. An allergy test can verify reactions to your suspected triggers, as well as to a variety of irritants in the case that you are uncertain of what you’re allergic to. If you do have adult-onset allergies, it could explain the general fatigue and malaise that you may be experiencing.
Allergies are easily treatable through a variety of medications and therapies. If you suspect that you may be suffering from adult-onset allergies, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukla today to conduct an allergy test and receive personalized treatment and relief.