Even if you were fortunate enough to have grown up without allergies you can still develop them at any age. As a matter of fact, allergies that develop in adulthood are on the rise.
The following are thought to contribute to the increase in adult onset environmental allergies:
- An increase in pollutants
- A decrease in ventilation of indoor spaces
- An increase in the dust mite population
- Dietary factors
- An increase in exposure to mold
- Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, lactation and menopause can render a person more susceptible to allergies
- The aging process can change the body’s immune system leaving a person more susceptible to allergies
- Some viral infections can trigger allergies
There is also the “hygiene hypothesis” which postulates that, especially for westerners, the clean environment doesn’t provide the exposure to microbes and bacteria our immune system needs to develop properly. This results in an immune system which overreacts to harmless things, such as pet dander and pollen.