Do We Inherit Allergies? With the arrival of Spring, many allergies have also made their way to America. Along with fruits and flowers, this season brings miseries for the people suffering from allergies. Runny noses, sore throats, and swollen faces are a common sight.
But, you can’t only blame the season for your blocked airways or nasal congestion. Yes, environmental factors matter but some allergies may be genetic and passed down to generations.
Your body has an inbuilt defense system that keeps you protected from any foreign invaders. It has a force of antibodies which fights with the harmful substances. However, sometime, your body may mistakenly react against a substance causing no harm.
Your immune system then produces Immunoglobin E (Ig E) bodies to battle out the allergen. These bodies travel in the cells, releasing Histamine and other chemicals causing mild to severe allergenic reactions –depending on the type of allergen your body encounters.
If your allergy is mild, it will cause you itching, rash on the skin, or congestion. However, in severe allergenic case, you may experience varying degrees of mouth and throat swelling. You may suffer severe abdominal pain with vomiting and nausea. In rare cases, a patient may lose his life.
Air transports some of the allergens, such as –pollen, dust mite, mold, and animal dander. You may suffer an allergy to a particular food, medication, or pet.
Allergies develop due to several reasons. Why you don’t show an allergenic reaction to a substance your sibling may exhibit is unknown. Allergies can hit people of all age group at any time. You are most likely to become allergic to things, especially food during childhood. However, some allergies sit down with time.
Some allergies tend to travel through genes; you may potentially inherit an allergy from your parents or grandparents –such as allergic asthma. Relax and take a deep breath. If you or your partner has an allergic condition, it does not mean that it will affect all your children. Likewise, your kid may develop an allergy even if none of your family members is affected.
If your airways are inflamed and you are having difficulty with breathing, you are under an asthma attack. This breathing disorder occurs when you inhale an allergen, thereby exhibiting allergenic symptoms –narrowed airways, breathing difficulties, chest tightness with wheezing, and coughing.
Genes, along with other environmental factors, play a major role in administering allergic asthma. Different research suggests that as many as 100 of your genes may have a connection to allergic asthma. While most of the associated genes involve your body’s immune response, some play a part in lungs and airway functions. There is no specific inheritance pattern for allergic asthma.
Interestingly, not everyone with a variation of one of an allergic asthma-associated gene tends to develop the condition. You may develop allergic asthma because of prolonged exposure to allergen irritants present in the environment.
Though most of the food allergies are specific to an individual’s body composition, you may share a certain food or drug allergy with your family. Food allergies affect as many as two million (8%) of the children in the US.
If both of your parents are allergic to a certain food –let’s say peanut –then you are also likely to develop an allergy to it. However, it is not the case always. It is quite possible that you don’t develop an allergy to peanuts at all.
If you suffer from any seasonal allergy or have inherited one because of your genes, do not fear. Your allergies may not be completely wiped out, but you can manage them with your doctor’s help. Contact us and schedule an appointment with the best allergist in NYC Boyan Hadjiev MD.
Do Allergies Intensify With Age? Allergies affect one out of five Americans. In your early childhood, you probably have experienced an allergy to milk, eggs, fish, or some other edible. You may have suffered from other allergies too –such as hay fever, or a drug allergy. As a child, your body tends to develop more allergies than it does in any other age group.
But does that mean once you hit puberty or reach adulthood, you are free from allergies? It’s a YES and a NO.
An allergy occurs with your body’s exposure to an allergen. Your immune system may not have reacted earlier to the substance –either contacted through skin, inhaled or swallowed –it is now considering as an invader. When it does so, your immunity system retaliates producing antibodies against the allergen, thereby causing allergenic symptoms.
Allergies are not age specific –they can hit you at any time in life. You may outgrow an allergy you experienced as a kid, or your allergy may reappear in later life –which doesn’t go easily. Some allergies like hay fever or nasal allergies are seasonal, or you may inherit because of your genes.
How an allergen reacts on your body and how long the symptoms may appear varies from person to person. It usually depends upon your immune system. With a weak immune system, you are likely to adopt allergies more often and for a longer period.
Some factors that can make your allergy worse are
Some of your allergies may chide away for some time, but, they can lighten up again with constant exposure to the irritant substance. Food allergies tend to become worse more than other allergies.
Let’s assume that consuming one or two strawberries don’t cause you much trouble. But if the count exceeds four, your immune system may come into the attack –causing itching on the skin or break out in hives. Once you have discovered the culprit food, it is better to avoid it as a severe food allergy may pose a potential threat to your life.
Similarly, longer exposure to airborne allergens may trigger severe allergic symptoms. It all may start with a swollen nasal passage or a runny nose but may lead you to allergic asthma. Stay indoors during pollination and try to keep the air in room clean. Do not forget to keep antihistamine drops, nasal sprays, and eyedrops with you when you go out.
If an insect sting has triggered an allergy, the symptoms –swelling, itching, hives, or skin rash –may disappear once you are not exposed to the allergen anymore.
Your body may breakdown at any age, causing your immune system to weaken. Your digestive system may deteriorate as early as in your 20s –accounting to junk food consumption. Your digestion problems may cause you to have constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Indigestion leads to allergies and worsening of existing allergies. With aging, your stomach produces less Hydrochloric acid (HCl) than the body’s requirement, increasing the risk of developing allergies.
If you are struggling with an allergy which is worsening with time, you may potentially have contracted another allergy. The situation may deplete letting one allergy produce another. You may be allergic to ragweed, but if the symptoms have become severe, your immune system is possibly reacting to another allergen at the same time.
You may develop an asthmatic allergy because of a variation of an allergic-asthma associated gene. You are more likely to develop an allergy if both of your parents are allergic. Allergens present in the air may trigger your asthma. It attacks your airways, making it difficult to breathe.
Your sinusitis may be acute or chronical. You are more likely to have sinusitis if you are suffering from hay fever.
You can prevent your allergies from worsening by taking immediate steps –one of which is consulting a trained allergist. Contact us and schedule an appointment with the Dr. Sneeze, the best allergist in NYC.
Serving all of New York City and the Tri State Area including Zip Codes: Top Allergist NYC Midtown, Chelsea and Clinton: 10001, 10011, 10018, 10019, 10020, 10036 | Gramercy Park and Murray Hill: 10010, 10016, 10017, 10022 | Greenwich Village and Soho: 10012, 10013, 10014 | Lower Manhattan: 10004, 10005, 10006, 10007, 10038, 10280 | Lower East Side: 10002, 10003, 10009 | Upper East Side: 10021, 10028, 10044, 10128 | Upper West Side: 10023, 10024, 10025