By Ariel Stateman
Seasonal allergies (also known as “Hay Fever” or seasonal allergic rhinitis) can occur at any age. Most adults, including myself, are shocked when they go their entire life without any seasonal allergies and then they get them. But the truth is that anyone can develop seasonal allergies, at any age. Adult-onset allergies usually occurs in a persons’ 20s or 30s but that doesn’t mean an 87-year-old man couldn’t develop them. Researchers still aren’t sure what triggers a person to develop allergies. They know that the body identifies a specific substance (like pollen) as harmful by mistake. Then the body will produce antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) that attaches to particular cells and causes the release of histamine. Histamine, in turn, causes inflammation and the classic seasonal allergy symptoms (i.e. watery eyes, redness, and itching).
There are several theories as to why the prevalence of hay fever has been increasing throughout the United States and around the world. One theory is due to less exposure to bacteria and other microbes. Many people these days are so cleanliness-conscious that they are actually suppressing the natural development of their immune system. Another theory is due to higher concentrations of airborne pollutants, sedentary lifestyles, poor ventilation in homes and office buildings, and an increase in dust mite population. Regardless, it is very important to take care of yourself. If you are suffering from allergy symptoms, look into different treatment options.
About the author -- Ariel Stateman is a recent graduate of the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences at the Larkin University College of Biomedical Sciences. Ariel is also a Research Assistant - Intern in the RIPL_Effect Research Team under the mentorship of principal investigator, Dr. Félix E. Rivera-Mariani. Ariel is one of the founders of the RIPL_Effect Research Team, and during her time as a graduate student at the Larkin University College of Biomedical Sciences, she was one of the Co-Leaders with the group (together with Josh Baguley)