Determining factors for allergies
Whether or not you end up suffering from allergies is determined by the interaction of your genes and the environment. Genes have a strong pull, but research has shown that people exposed to certain environmental factors, like pollution or roaches, for example, will have higher rates of allergies. Researchers are also studying whether being exposed early on to certain foods (or delaying that exposure) can reduce your risk of food allergies. They are also looking at pet exposures, but the jury is still out.
An ounce of prevention
Avoiding known allergens is your first line of defense, but it is not always possible. Using sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops) can help if you can’t avoid them. Allergy drops have been shown to reduce the risk of developing asthma (1). Using HEPA filters, mite proof bedding or avoiding foods you react to are effective ways to prevent allergy symptoms. Learn more specific ways to prevent specific allergy triggers in the Common Allergies section.
The key to effective allergy or asthma management is to get tested and identify which allergens are risk factors. It’s easier to prevent allergies and asthma if we know who is at risk for developing these conditions. An allergist can better predict which children will develop allergies and asthma based on:
- Parental history of either of these conditions
- If the child has atopic dermatitis
- A high IgE antibody level (based on allergy testing)
- If they have had four or more episodes of wheezing
- A positive allergy test to a food or environmental allergen.
New technology in blood testing can pinpoint allergens more effectively. Learn more
Contact us for more information or to get tested.
(1) Novembre,E. Galli,E.Landi,F.,” Co-Seasonal Sublingual Immunotherapy Reduces the Development of Asthma in Children with Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis,” J Allergy Clin Immuno( October 2004): 851-7.