Are we born with allergies or do they come as we age? Started sneezing more in my 50s, related to changes in weather.

New onset adult allergies are more common now than ever because there are more severe seasons with really high pollen levels. Many of us are born with a genetic pre-disposition to allergies – meaning if your parents had some form of allergy, you’re more likely to develop them as well. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have them start to exhibit as an adult. One of the biggest things in my practice is people like you, in their 50s, coming in with allergies for the first time due to the higher pollen counts or the fact that they only started to exhibit allergies later in life.

Is it possible to grow out of allergies and/or pick up new allergies?

 It is definitely possible to pick up new allergies. If you’re an existing allergy sufferer, you’re likely to pick up new allergies with continued exposure to new allergens. Growing out of existing allergies is less common unless you have a history of getting allergy shots. Otherwise, allergies can be a lifelong battle.

My eyes run constantly due to my allergies. What can I do?

Hygiene plays an important role in controlling allergies. There are a few important steps that you can take to help. When you come home from being outside or on-the-go, rinse your eyes with saline wash for the eyes to remove the pollen. You can also use baby wipes to gently wipe down your eyelids and eyelashes once you come from outside. You should also check in with a board-certified allergist who can prescribe effective allergy eye drops based on your symptoms.

What’s the best way to get tested for what you’re allergic to? A blood test or one of those prick skin tests?

Both tests are effective at diagnosing allergies. The difference is that the prick test can be done right in your allergist’s office and you can get immediate results. The blood test is more invasive and takes a few days for results. The prick test requires that you stop certain medications such as antihistamines for a few days because they can interfere with the results of the test. Therefore, the blood test might be a better option for allergy sufferers who can’t tolerate going even one day without their medications.

 Can allergies affect vertigo?

 Yes, they can because our vestibular system in our inner ear affects balance and contributes to vertigo. Because allergies can lead to fluid collection in the same area, it can worsen vertigo.

My son recently had his Parotid gland swell could allergies have caused this?

Keeping your asthma under control requires taking your medication consistently whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not. You should always start asthma medications before your typical flare up season so that you’re prepared. If you have asthma, you should also see a board-certified allergist to identify your allergy triggers because air-borne allergens can trigger a flare-up or attack. If you know what you’re allergic to, you’re able to control and avoid exposure to those triggers.

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