General Question

Ludy's avatar

Are we born with allergies or we develop them as we grow up?

Asked by Ludy (1499points) May 15th, 2010

I never suffered of allergies when I lived in Mexico, but 6 years ago I moved to U.S. Last year I started experiencing some rashes and watery eyes for no reason, I don’t know why, I havent change anything in my diet or life that I can think of, besides moving, but if that’s the reason then why is this happening until now?

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14 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Allergies can and frequently do develop in adulthood. In fact, it often does take several years to develop new allergies, as the allergen needs to stimulate production of antibodies, and this can take several rounds of exposure before enough antibodies form to lead to significant allergies. So, for example, in year one your body responds to a new allergen (tree pollen) by making some antibodies, and some memory B-cells (the cells that produce antibodies). The following year, the memory B-cell population expands in response to more tree pollen, but the antibodies produced don’t cause symptoms. Then, in the 3rd year, enough antibodies are made to lead to symptomatic allergies, and every year thereafter you may suffer, depending on the seasonal variation in allergen production.

Obviously, this was just an example. Each person’s time course may vary for a number of reasons. But, in summary, many people develop allergies in adulthood (I did…)

ness_t's avatar

@shilolo I agree because i never had allergys ever in my lifetime but it seems now that I moved t o a different place I get it. I believe it just depends were you move and how the atmosphere changes. It usually has a big deal to do with the different altitude change.

SeventhSense's avatar

Both but you can develop allergies as you get older or are exposed to new flora and fauna that you’re body is unfamiliar with.

Cruiser's avatar

IMO a lot of allergies can be attributed to the “sealed up” nature of today’s energy efficient homes. Once you have homes that lock out the elements you lock in the allergens and homes are chock full of them. Try opening the windows and get a healthy dose of fresh air and see if that helps.

Ludy's avatar

Well, the thing is that happens mostly when I’m out of the house :(

shilolo's avatar

@Cruiser Can you back that up with any data? Someone with seasonal allergies is highly unlikely to benefit from opening the window to allow more allergens (i.e. pollens) to enter their home. In fact, people with bad allergies/asthma are frequently recommended to acquire air purifiers/filters for their homes precisely because the allergens accumulate in the home.

@Ludy It may be that where you are going has a higher concentration of a specific allergen to which you are allergic. For example, if you are allergic to elm trees, and your work is surrounded by elms, you are much more likely to be allergic near work than near home.

SeventhSense's avatar

The negative ion generator ionizers are excellent at removing airborne allergens such as dust and pollen in the home.

Cruiser's avatar

@shilolo Had the question stated “seasonal” allergies I would have been happy to provide back up data but it didn’t! ;)

shilolo's avatar

@Cruiser Ok, I’ll bite. What is your definition of allergies, and how does living in a certain kind of home predispose to allergies? Are you going to talk about the paranoia about mold?

Response moderated
Cruiser's avatar

@shilolo…there is no “bite” here. I was merely suggesting that ever since the dawn of Tyvek and Nylon carpet and gazillions of plastic gadgetry inside our homes, the formaldehyde, phenols, dust mites and other nasties trapped by uber efficient thermal pane widows is overdosing modern man with a level of allergens as never before. Leaky double pane windows were a tonic to warding off these toxic levels of allergens and chemicals.

Puhlease do not get me started on the chemicals in our food chain!!

lillycoyote's avatar

Most of the allergies I had as a child I don’t have anymore and as an adult I have become allergic to things I wasn’t allergic to in the past. For example, almost my entire life I could have rolled around naked in a bed of poison ivy and it would have have no effect on me but in the past 5 years or so I have become allergic to it, at least to the point where I have a moderate to severe reaction when I come in contact with it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I developed an allergy to cat dander at ~19. It makes me sad.

meagan's avatar

I do think some people develop allergies as they get older. I don’t know why, but they do. When I was young, I had a cat that lived indoors and gave me no problems. But now that I’m 21 and have a cat that rarely comes inside, I have to take daily medication or my eyes swell and I sneeze for hours! Its terrible. I wish allergies didn’t exist :(

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