Blog 4/18/2017

Weekly Clinical Service Dose: Can You Outgrow Hay Fever or Other Allergies?

If you have allergies, you know they can make you miserable. But are they a problem for life, or can you grow out of them?

How do allergies work on your body?

Allergies are a common problem that researchers believe affect 50 million people in the United States. They happen when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance in your body.

Common triggers include pollen, dust, mites mold, animal dander, insect stings, drugs and food.

In some cases, your body sees the substance as a threat and makes immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that release histamine, which, in turn, causes allergic reactions.

Reactions can range from mild to severe, and may include cold-like symptoms, rash or swelling, hives and respiratory problems.

Can you outgrow an allergy?

Some individuals can lose medical symptoms to allergens — which can occur with some medication allergies, such as penicillin.

Children can sometimes outgrow food allergies like milk and eggs, and mild reactions to venom from insect stings.

For some, exposure causes the body to produce IgE antibodies, but there may not be any obvious medical symptoms.

What if you’re not sure if it’s allergies?

If you have allergies or suspect that you might, it’s a good idea to work with a board-certified allergist who can arrange for proper allergy testing.

Recent advancements in testing materials are yielding more accurate allergy diagnoses. If you suspect you may have outgrown an allergy, talk with your doctor about your diagnosis and find out whether getting retested makes sense.

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