How to Cope With Adult-Onset Allergies

You may think of allergies as a childhood affliction, especially since many adults with allergies developed them when they were children. But adult-onset allergies are more common than you might imagine. 

When allergies strike in adulthood, they tend to do so during your 20s and 30s. Suddenly having an allergy to substances in food or the environment can be a life-altering experience. The good news is that with effective allergy treatment, you can control your symptoms and live a normal life.

Know that you aren’t alone

Suddenly developing allergies in adulthood can be confusing and distressing. At Southern ENT, our providers are here to answer your questions and concerns, and guide you through an adult-onset allergy diagnosis.

What we most want you to know is that allergies that develop in adulthood are fairly common. We see many patients who previously never had problems with pollen, for instance, but all of a sudden notice that their eyes start to itch, water, and become irritated and they get a runny nose when pollen levels peak in the spring.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. More than half of adults who have allergies developed their first symptoms in adulthood.

Know what you’re dealing with

The most common allergies in adulthood are:

The most common food allergies that develop after you reach adulthood include:

Roughly 40% of people who develop allergies in adulthood develop food allergies. If you’re one of them, you must take steps to avoid the food that you’re allergic to. Adjust your lifestyle, read food labels, carefully check menus, and be careful at social gatherings where food is served.

Why do allergies strike in adulthood?

Your adult-onset allergies aren’t a fluke. It’s possible to develop an allergy to any substance at any point during your life. What’s more, the number of people with adult-onset allergies is growing.

Experts in the field aren’t yet sure why allergies strike in adulthood. There seems to be a genetic component, though. If you have close family members with allergies, you’re more likely to develop allergies yourself, whether in childhood or adulthood.

In some cases, environmental triggers may alter the way your immune system responds to different substances. Having an existing allergy raises the risk that you may develop a new allergy. While the exact reasons remain unknown, we do know that the immune system continues to change over time.

Get treatment to help you feel better

If you suspect you’re suffering from allergies for the first time, your key to relief is visiting an allergy specialist.

Adult-onset allergies can make you feel miserable, and you can spend a lot of money on over-the-counter products that may not provide sufficient relief.

Our head allergist brings more than 25 years of expertise and oversight in allergy testing and treatment. Our team at Southern ENT uses the most up-to-date research and tools to offer the latest in diagnosing and managing allergies. 

We offer in-house radioallergosorbent (RAST) and modified quantitative (MQT) testing to get to the root of your symptoms. 

RAST allergy testing

A RAST test checks your blood to see if you have allergies. The test looks for antibodies in your blood for a specific substance. These antibodies are called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. If you have an allergy, your immune system produces IgE antibodies in an effort to fight off the allergen, which your body perceives as an invader. These antibodies are involved in allergic reactions that cause symptoms in the lungs, throat, nose, or skin. 

MQT allergy testing

In addition to offering RAST testing, we at Southern ENT offer modified quantitative testing, a protocol that blends skin prick and intradermal testing (IDT) into one safe and simple testing method. 

IDT involves pricking a small amount of about 20 allergens in two different strengths just under your skin. A reaction to a substance means that you may have an allergy. 

Allerdent immunotherapy 

Here at Southern ENT, we offer one of the latest in immunotherapy allergy treatments in the form of a toothpaste called Allerdent®. This patented toothpaste allows us to provide personalized and convenient allergy immunotherapy designed to reduce your body’s response to allergens.

If we determine that Allerdent is the right treatment for you, our team sends a few drops of your blood to a laboratory for assessment against 145 different food and respiratory allergies. Based on the diagnostic report, we then prescribe a specially formulated toothpaste containing proteins that help to retrain your immune system. 

Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only treatment that targets the root cause of your allergies.

You can lead a normal life with adult-onset allergies

If you’re diagnosed with adult-onset allergies, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck dealing with bothersome symptoms. Good allergy treatment is based on your medical history, symptoms, and the results of allergy tests.

Our specialists at Southern ENT can perform a simple skin-prick test to zero in on the cause of your symptoms. This involves scratching your skin with various substances and watching for a reaction that would suggest you’re allergic to that substance. Your provider may order blood tests if necessary.

Getting control of your symptoms is key to getting back to your daily life and regular activities. For allergy testing and treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our providers by calling the location nearest you or filling out the appointment request form here

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