Let’s start with today’s topic are allergies genetic? Modern society is filled with allergies. According to estimates, asthma, hay fever, atopic eczema, and food allergies are among the most common forms of allergies in children in the United Kingdom. With the rise in allergies, the development of these disorders is being questioned to aid in preventing and managing these conditions.
Are allergies really by genetic?
Yes, but it’s not quite like that. If you have allergies, it does not mean that your child will, too, even if you do. There is, nevertheless, a 50/50 chance. If your spouse is also allergic, the chances of your children developing an allergy go up to 75%.
Then there’s the issue of your environment, air pollution, respiratory illnesses, and even your food intake, stress, nutrition, and emotions.
Let’s begin by defining what an allergy is. The term “allergy” refers to a body’s aberrant response to normally safe substances for most individuals. Allergens are the scientific term for these chemicals. We can find allergens everywhere, from our homes to our food and even in the air we breathe.
People’s reactions to common allergens can cause a variety of symptoms. Allergy symptoms can include sneezing, nasal stuffiness, itchy, runny nose, watery eyes, itching ears, and a scratchy throat if sensitive to pollen, mold, animal dander, or dust mites. The sinuses can also be inflamed and cause facial pain and coughing.
This makes us wonder: how do you get allergies, and is it something that runs in your family? Allergies can be genetic, which means they can be passed down from parents to their children through their DNA. It’s important to know that just because you have allergies doesn’t imply your child will, too. A child can develop allergies that are completely unrelated to their parents or even have no allergies.
How Do Allergies Happen?
Children with allergies are more susceptible to allergies if they are exposed to an allergen that they are allergic to. Rather than fighting it off, it overreacts, treating the material as a foreign intruder. The immune system produces IgE antibodies to defend the body (IgE). As a defense mechanism against the “invader” allergen, these cells release substances (such as histamine) into the bloodstream.
The release of these substances causes allergy responses. The eyes, throat, lungs, nose, skin, and gastrointestinal tract can all be affected by reactions. This allergic reaction will occur again if the same allergen is encountered in the future.
Read also: How to get rid of dust mites
What Causes Allergies in Children?
Allergy susceptibility runs in families and can be passed down from generation to generation. There is no guarantee that the children of a parent who suffers from an allergy will also be affected. And it’s not uncommon for someone to inherit a general allergy risk rather than a specific sensitivity. Even if no one in the family is allergic, some children develop allergies. Many children who are allergic to one item are also allergic to other things.
Cross-reactions may also occur in some children. The pollen of birch trees, for example, includes a protein that might induce allergy reactions in children who are sensitive to it. A latex allergy (detected in latex gloves and several types of hospital equipment) is linked to an increased risk of food allergies like bananas, avocados, and pineapples.
What Is the Process of Diagnosing Allergies?
You should see your physician if your child’s cold-like symptoms persist for more than two weeks, and they happen every year around the same time. Your doctor can then either diagnose an allergy and prescribe medication or refer you to an allergist (a physician specializing in diagnosing and treating allergies) for allergy testing. Both options are equally effective.
Allergists typically conduct skin tests for the most prevalent environmental and food allergens to identify the source of an allergic reaction. For children who have skin issues, are taking specific medications, or are extremely sensitive to a particular allergy, blood testing may be used instead.
Even if testing reveals an allergy, a kid must have symptoms to be properly diagnosed. To put it another way, if a child has a positive dust-mite test and is constantly sneezing while playing on the floor, they are probably allergic to dust mites.
How Are Allergies Treated?
Allergies are not curable, but their symptoms can be managed. Avoiding allergens is the best method to deal with them. Parents and children can regularly discuss allergy symptoms and reactions with children.
The allergy should be communicated to all caregivers (childcare personnel, teachers, family members, friends’ parents, etc.)
Doctors may prescribe antihistamines, eye sprays, and nasal sprays if avoiding environmental allergens isn’t an option or doesn’t help. Many of these products are also available without a prescription.
A doctor may prescribe immunotherapy (allergy shots) in some situations to help a patient become less sensitive to an allergen. These can be beneficial only for allergens like dust, mold, pollen, animals, and insect bites. Unlike food allergies, they aren’t used for that.
It’s important to know what allergies you have and to have your kids checked for allergies if they show signs of them. This will help you figure out the best way to treat them. To figure out if a person has allergies, a doctor needs to get the person’s medical history and do a physical exam. Allergy skin testing may also be done to determine what is causing the allergic symptoms. People who have allergies are given medicine to help them deal with their symptoms, but they also try to avoid the allergen if that is possible.
In the end, allergy immunotherapy may be given. Allergen immunotherapy is a natural, drug-free treatment in which you become less allergic to things that you are allergic to over time. This results in fewer allergic symptoms and less medication use. A shot of drops or tablets that go under the tongue can be used to give immunotherapy to people who have a virus.