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Why Adults Develop Allergies

Posted on: November 01, 2017

How Do Adult Onset of Allergies Happen?

Just like childhood allergies, we do not completely understand why some people develop allergies and others don’t.  We do know there are complex genetic and environmental factors involved.  Scientists have proposed theories about why allergies occur including the “hygiene hypothesis” that attributes allergic disease in part to the use of antimicrobials and the high standard of cleanliness in modern societies.

It is certainly possible to develop allergies in adulthood. The most common food allergies in adults are peanuts, fish, shellfish such as shrimp, lobster and tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashews).

Adults can also present with new-onset environmental allergies.  In some cases, the patient may have had a tendency to develop allergies all along, but their environment changed, putting them in more contact with the triggering allergen (for example, a new pet in the home).

What Should I Do If I Develop Adult Onset Allergies?

If you believe you have developed allergies as an adult, avoid any suspected allergens while you are waiting to see your allergist. Your allergist may order some tests such as blood or skin tests to further evaluate your allergies.

If allergy testing confirms a diagnosis of allergy, your allergist will work with you to develop a treatment plan including avoidance measures, medications, and/or other treatment options such as immunotherapy (“allergy shots”) for environmental allergies.

Serving the Charlotte area since 1952, Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center is the Charlotte area’s largest asthma and allergy practice. With 12 offices and 15 board-certified allergists one of our locations is sure to be convenient for you to visit. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our allergy tests in Charlotte.

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