If you have enjoyed an allergy-free childhood, you are lucky. But that does not mean you're out of danger when you reach adulthood. You can develop allergies at any age.
When an allergy is first shown in adulthood, the symptoms will depend on the nature of the allergy. Some of the reasons why you may be susceptible to developing a new allergy are having moved to a new house or flat, a new pet, having a family history of allergies or a history of a different allergy in childhood.
If spores (of mold) enter your lungs, you may be at risk of developing asthma or a serious disease called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
The US Asthma and Allergy Foundation UU
If you develop seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever), you may experience:
• Itchy, watery eyes, with dark circles • Itching of the nose, throat, or roof of the mouth • Sneezing • Congestion • Runny nose
Other symptoms include:
• A tingling or tingling sensation in the mouth • A rash, itchy skin, hives, or eczema • A tongue, throat, lips, or other parts of the body swollen • Breathing difficulties such as nasal congestion, wheezing or shortness of breath • Gastrointestinal pain such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain • Dizziness, fainting or fainting
You may develop allergies to mold, fungi and other allergens. When you breathe mold spores, you may have symptoms similar to hay fever, such as:
• Nasal congestion • Sneezing • Itching • Runny nose • Scaly, dry skin
The US Asthma and Allergy Foundation UU warns that, if the spores access the lungs, you may be at risk of developing asthma or a serious disease called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
Allergies to insects
In general, the sting of a hornet, bee, wasp, yellow jacket or wasp will produce a red and painful welt. However, if you develop an allergy to the venom injected by these insects, you could be at risk for a serious condition called anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that can result from food, insects or other allergies. Within minutes after eating or being bitten, blood pressure decreases and breathing becomes difficult. The throat swells and hardens and you may wheeze or experience nausea and fainting. Without timely treatment, the reaction can be fatal.
Seek emergency medical attention if you experience these symptoms. If you suspect that you may have a serious allergy to an insect or food, inform your doctor.He or she can help prepare you in case of an extreme reaction.
About the author
Boyan Hadjiev, Medical Doctor, has been a practicing physician for five years. He has a double certificate in Internal Medicine (2003), and Allergy and Immunology, (2005).
Dr. Hadjiev graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Biology and has a medical doctorate from the Western Cleveland Medical School of Clinical Cases.