Are Allergies Genetic?
The last thing you want is to see your child suffering from the same allergy symptoms you have had your whole life. But as they get older, you see many similarities to when you started to develop your allergies. Could it be that it’s a coincidence, or are genetics to blame?
First, let’s begin with what an allergy actually is. An allergy is defined as an abnormal reaction to substances ordinarily harmless to most people. These substances are referred to as “allergens.” Allergens can be found indoors, outdoors and even in things that we eat.
Some of the most common allergy symptoms that people experience vary based on the type of allergen. For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, mold, animal dander and dust mites, you might find yourself sneezing, with nasal stuffiness, runny nose, itchy, watery and/or red eyes, itchy ears, and a scratchy throat. Additionally, sinus headaches, facial pain and coughs can also occur.
So you must still be wondering… how do you develop allergies and is it actually genetic? The answer: It is often hereditary as to whether or not we develop allergies, which means it can be passed down through genes from parents to their children. It’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have allergies your child will also definitely develop allergies. Believe it or not, in some instances, a child will develop allergies that his or her parents don’t even have, or won’t develop allergies at all.
What’s important is to be aware of the allergies that you have, and to have your children tested for allergies if they have symptoms to determine the best approach for treating them. To diagnose allergies, a physician must obtain history from the patient and perform a physical examination. Allergy skin testing may also be performed to determine the actual cause of allergic symptoms. From there, a treatment plan is put in place that includes avoidance of the allergen, if possible, as well as medications to help control allergy symptoms.
Finally, allergen immunotherapy may be offered. Allergen immunotherapy is a natural non-drug treatment in which you are gradually desensitized to things that you are allergic to, resulting in fewer allergic symptoms and less medication use. Immunotherapy may be administered via an injection or as drops or tablets under the tongue.
At Certified Allergy, we offer five convenient locations throughout the Capital Region from Albany to Saratoga Springs to help diagnose and treat allergies. If you’re interested in making an appointment, please visit our website to choose the location that’s right for you!