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Quick Dose: Do Seasonal Allergies Develop with Age?

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Allergies can strike any time, so it’s not uncommon for allergies to develop later in life. No one knows what causes this, but it may be due to how our body now reactsbodies react to foreign substances.

One theory as to why adults may get allergies is that they have not been exposed to many allergens as a child. For example, it is, it’s thought that people who lived on farms have less allergies than people who grew up in the city. It’s also possible to experience an allergic episode earlier in life, only to have symptoms temporarily fade during adolescence.

Getting a pet or moving to a new region in the country with different foliage can trigger new symptoms. Often, it can take three years of being exposed to a certain seasonal foliage to develop symptoms.

Many environmental changes across the country are creating a higher concentration of airborne pollutants. These pollutants can worsen symptoms of asthma and allergies in people with allergic disease.

Allergies can be a nuisance, so discuss your symptoms with an allergist to pinpoint specific triggers and find some relief.

- Baiju Malde, MD, Northwestern Medical Group, allergy and immunology