November 25, 2015

home > diseases, conditions and tests a-z list > allergy article

Allergy (Allergies)

Who is at risk for allergies and why?

Allergies can develop at any age, but most food allergies begin at a young age, and many are outgrown. Environmental allergies can develop at any time. The initial exposure or sensitization period may even begin before birth. Individuals can also outgrow allergies over time. It is not fully understood why one person develops allergies and another does not, but there are several risk factors for allergic conditions. Family history, or genetics, plays a large role, with a higher risk for allergies if parents or siblings have allergies. There are numerous other risk factors for developing allergic conditions. Children born via Cesarean section have a higher risk of allergy as compared to children who are delivered vaginally. Exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of allergy. Boys are more likely to be allergic than girls. Allergies are more common in westernized countries, and less common in those with a farming lifestyle. Exposures to antigens, use of antibiotics, and numerous other factors, some of which are not yet known, also contribute to the development of allergies. This complicated process continues to be an area of medical research. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 8/31/2015