I Have Allergies — Will My Children Have Them As Well?

I Have Allergies — Will My Children Have Them As Well?

Allergies are a common ailment that can send you to the doctor. If over-the-counter medication doesn’t help, it’s important to seek medical treatment from a specialist. Allergies can become life threatening in some instances. 

Board-certified otolaryngologist Nilesh Patel, MD can help relieve your allergy symptoms. Dr. Patel administers allergy tests that determine what pollen or foods create your allergic reaction. Knowing what is producing your symptoms helps Dr. Patel develop a plan to reduce your reaction to the allergen. 

You may be wondering whether your child is going to be affected by allergies. Are they genetic? 

Allergy statistics 

About 25% of Americans have seasonal allergies. You can develop an allergy as an adult having never had one as a child. You may start coughing in the spring when trees begin to bud or in the fall when ragweed is in the air. Perhaps you’re allergic to mold and are affected when the leaves come off the trees in the fall. 

In addition, about 6% of adults and children have a food allergy. In adults, a shellfish allergy is most common, followed by allergies to milk and peanuts. In children, eggs, milk, and peanuts, along with wheat, soy, and tree nuts are the most common culprits. 

Children and adults can have life-threatening reactions to some foods. Perhaps you must have an EpiPen® at hand in case you come in contact with an allergen that causes anaphylaxis, a condition that blocks your breathing. Food allergies are on the rise, although scientists aren’t sure why. Will your child need an EpiPen, too? 

Factors linked to the development of allergies

Although genetics play a role in allergies, they’re not the only reason you may develop one.   

The genetic link to allergies 

There’s definitely a genetic component to allergies. If you have allergies, your child has a 50% chance of developing them. If both you and your significant other have allergies, your child has about a 75% chance of having allergies too. The predisposition to having an allergy doesn’t mean that your child is going to have the same type of allergy, though. In addition, your child may develop an allergy even if you and your spouse don’t have allergies. 

 Allergies affect siblings. If one of your children has a peanut allergy, a sibling has seven times the chance of having one also. 

Racial/ethnic background

Although the CDC estimates that about 6% of the total United States population has a food allergy, people of color are more prone to them than Caucasians. Over 10% of African Americans, Asian Americans, and people of Hispanic origin report food allergies.  

Climate change 

Researchers have evidence that pollen is appearing earlier and lasting longer now than in the past. Allergy “season” can be year-round. 

Pollution

The number of people with allergies is increasing in industrialized countries. Scientists say that pollution from manufacturing activity and substances released by vehicles is a factor in the increase. Pollution not only makes asthma and environmental allergies worse; researchers now believe it may contribute to the development of allergies. 

Treatment for allergies

If you’re troubled by chronic allergy symptoms, Dr. Patel performs allergy tests to determine what’s triggering your discomfort. Prescription medication may help you. If it doesn’t give you enough relief, Dr. Patel starts you on a regimen of allergy shots that reduce your reaction to the allergen. Dr. Patel also prescribes an EpiPen if you need one. 

Call Nilesh Patel, MD in Midtown, New York to request a same-day appointment or book an appointment online. You don’t have to suffer with chronic allergy symptoms.

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