Image from freedigitalphotos.net[/caption] Have you ever noticed that seemingly out of nowhere you began suffering from a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and other allergy symptoms in your adult years, even though you’ve never had allergies before? You’re not alone. Half of all new cases of nasal allergies happen in adults. In fact many people don’t even develop allergies until they are in their early 40s. But why, if you’ve never had allergies as a child or young adult, can you develop them later on in life? Allergies across the United States are increasing for both young and old alike. Experts speculate that allergy symptoms have increased due to “higher concentrations of airborne pollutants, rising dust mite populations, less ventilation in homes and offices, dietary factors and sedentary lifestyles.” Other doctors have hypothesized that the more sanitary environment of today’s world actually makes people more susceptible to allergies. It is also possible allergies that seem to come from out-of-nowhere may actually be new flares of old allergies you don’t remember ever having. Allergies that people had as small children may actually fad during adolescence, but come back in full force many years later. You may even have always had a particular allergy, but you were never in a setting where that allergy was triggered. For instance, you may be exposed to a particular allergen much more now than you were as a child. Instances that can trigger new symptoms from allergies you have always had include:
- Your Job - You spend a lot of time where you work. If you’re surrounded constantly by a particular allergen you’ve never really been exposed to before, it’s no wonder why you might begin sniffling and sneezing. For instance, your office building could have dust and dust mites floating through the air due to poor ventilation.
- Moving - By moving to a new city, neighborhood or even a new house, you could begin having new allergy symptoms. Things such as mold and dust mites may be more abundant at your new locations. A new house could also have different ventilation that affects your symptoms. Different cities may even have higher pollen counts, which may lead to new symptoms you never experienced before.
- Oral Allergy Syndrome - If you have hay fever, or any other pollen allergy, you can actually develop symptoms from eating fruits, vegetables or tree nuts. This is because your immune system recognizes pollen proteins in the food and will react to it.
Treating New Allergy Symptoms If you’ve never had allergy symptoms before, at first you may be concerned that you have a cold or sinus infection. But there are many tell-tale signs to help you know the difference between a cold and allergies. If your symptoms last for an extended period of time, it’s important that you treat them at home, or else see a doctor. Allergy symptoms that are ignored may actually get worse with time.