“Allergies can strike at any age in life, with symptoms disappearing and resurfacing years later,” says Leonard Bielory, MD and fellow with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Travel seems to be one of the reasons why people suddenly develop allergies around the holidays. As we visit our friends and relatives we may be exposed to airborne pollutants we're not used to. For example, while visiting a relative with cats, a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes can occur. Some college students returning home may also be suddenly allergic to a pet they didn’t have a reaction to before.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. According to ACAAI, allergies tend to run in families. If both parents have allergies, their children have a 75 percent chance of being allergic. If only one parent is allergic, or if a relative has allergies, the child has a 30 to 40 percent chance of having an allergy.
If you have asthma, it's estimated that 60 to 85 of sufferers will be afflicted with at least one allergy.
“During the holiday season you’re going to be exposed to allergens,” said allergist Dr. Myron Zitt, M.D., past president of the ACAAI. “Be aware of where the problems lie so you can deal with them. And then, have a good time!”
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