Generally, allergies are widespread. According to the World Health Organization, allergies affect approximately 40% of the world’s population. More than 55% of the population suffers from allergies in the United States alone every year—40% of children and 30% of adults. This equates to over 50 million U.S citizens. Although allergies are common, they rarely lead to fatal repercussions. Often, people develop allergies in their childhood but most outgrow them by the time they reach their mid-twenties. However, it is possible to develop any allergy in adulthood.
Table of Contents
- What is an Allergy?
- Types of Allergies
- Other Types of Allergens
- Can You Outgrow Allergies from Your Childhood?
- The Medical Solutions of Outgrowing Allergies
- Outgrowing Allergies with Natural Remedies
- Key Takeaway
What is an Allergy?
Outgrowing an allergy that you developed during your childhood is possible. To better understand this, you need to know some basic facts about allergic reactions. To begin with, what is an allergy? An allergy is an abnormal reaction to a harmless substance. Allergic reactions are caused by the production of a specific type of antibody known as immunoglobulin E. This happens because your body treats a harmless substance as a potentially dangerous foreign object in your body. When the body comes in contact with that particular substance again, the immunoglobulin E antibodies will release histamine.
Histamine is a significant chemical in the body produced by white blood cells. It functions by eliminating allergens from your body. Allergic reactions such as itchy skin, red eyes, runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing, to mention a few are repercussions of the functioning of the histamine chemical. People react differently to allergies because of their specific immunities. Moreover, there are several types of allergies. Your potential to outgrow an allergy and the time you take to achieve it largely depend on your body immunity and the allergens that affect you.
Types of Allergies
Below are the most common types of allergies.
Also referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis, pollen allergy is one of the most prevalent. Seasonal allergic rhinitis affects more than 25 million American citizens every year. It is most common during fall, summer, and spring. Pollen allergy results from pollen grains released from trees, weeds, and grass during fertilization. Following statistics, grasses are the most common cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis. The symptoms of pollen allergy include;
• Swelling around the eyes
• Red eyes
• Watery eyes
• Nasal congestion
• Runny nose
Food allergy affects more than 30million United States citizens, most of them being children under the age of 18. Food allergy is an outcome of particular allergens found in various types of protein. According to records by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the common foods that result in allergic reactions include wheat, peanuts, wheat, cow’s protein milk, soy, and shellfish. Most children outgrow milk, peanut, and egg allergies. A significant percentage of individuals never outgrow fish and shellfish allergies. Below are the prevalent symptoms of food allergy.
• Mouth swelling
• Face swelling
• Itchy skin
• Skin rash
Drug allergic reactions happen when the body’s immune system mistakes medicine for a foreign substance meant for elimination. Drug allergies call for medical alarm because they can lead to fatal occurrences such as anaphylaxis. However, drug allergy is rare, as physicians must access an individual’s medical history before administering any medicine. Most of the prescription drug reactions result from the side effects of the treatment. Health statistics show that allergies cause less than 5% of drug reactions.
Symptoms of Drug Allergy
• Difficult breathing
• Skin rash
• Shortness of breath
• Reduced blood pressure
• Rapid or slow pulse
Other Types of Allergens
• Pet dander
• Insect venom
Can You Outgrow Allergies from Your Childhood?
Fortunately, many people outgrow allergies from their childhood. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reveals that most individuals outgrow allergies during their childhood years, especially food allergies. However, this does not mean that you cannot outgrow an allergy in your adulthood. Allergies fade with time. The more you expose your body to the particular allergens, the better your chances of outgrowing a specific allergy. This is how allergies naturally go away. Nevertheless, it would be best to seek professional medical advice, as taking the matter into your hands can worsen the condition.
The Medical Solutions of Outgrowing Allergies
Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that reduces or completely stops the immune reaction to allergens. It involves gradually increasing the doses of a particular allergen. When the body is repeatedly exposed to a specific allergen, the dependence on allergy medication reduces. Immunotherapy works by producing an antibody that blocks the immune system from reacting to the harmless substance. Physicians consider immunotherapy as the gold-standard treatment for allergies due to 98% success. However, health experts mainly recommend it for individuals affected by several types of allergens. There are three significant categories of immunotherapy for allergy treatment.
Sublingual immunotherapy involves the oral administration of allergens. The patient puts oral medication under the tongue. At present, the FDA has only approved tablets for sublingual medication. This mode of treatment is safe for both children and adults. The World Health Organization supports that sublingual immunotherapy is as effective as injection therapy.
Also known as allergy shots, this is the commonly used mode of immunotherapy treatment. It is administered through injections. Physicians prefer subcutaneous immunotherapy as it is the only mode of treatment with 100% prevention of future development of other allergies. It is the standard treatment for individuals with asthma and seasonal allergic rhinitis.
A doctor for allergies often prescribed antihistamines and other drugs to curb particular reactions.
The Common Prescription Antihistamines
1. Epinastine ophthalmic
Outgrowing Allergies with Natural Remedies
• Air Purifiers
Air purifiers and filters eliminate pollen, animal dander, mold, and other allergens in your home, thereby improving indoor air quality. Remember that prescription and over-the-counter drugs are less meaningful if your indoor environment is full of contaminants.
• Vitamin C
Vitamin C is widely known for its medicinal properties. Following the National Institutes of Health, a daily dose of 2000 milligrams of vitamin C reduces the level of histamine in your body.
• Essential Oils
Essential oils are fantastic for seasonal allergies as they harbor anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, frankincense, and tea tree oil are commonly used.
Selecting probiotics requires the help of a medical professional. This is because you need to recognize probiotics that contain bacteria that treat allergies. Probiotics are not the cure to all allergies but help build a more robust immune system.
Most of the time, allergies are not life-threatening. Nonetheless, they can reduce the quality of life by causing reactions that make you uncomfortable. Fortunately, most allergies fade with time. Concerning the ones that last a lifetime, there are many medical and natural management methods. However, it is important to note any abnormal reaction and seek medical assistance because some allergic reactions can be fatal. Nonetheless, an allergy is a harmless immune reaction that you can outgrow, depending on your lifestyle habits, treatment, and the type of allergen.