Allergies can get better over the course of life – but they can also get worse. And some allergies only develop with age. But what does it do? We clarify!
Allergic reactions are the fastest growing chronic health problem in humans. Does it get worse with age – or are we just imagining it? The good news: We don’t make it up. The bad news: Age actually has an enormous influence on the severity of an allergy. Unfortunately. There are four influencing factors responsible for this …
The worsening of allergies is largely related to the constantly rising temperatures. As observations by the ” Stiftung Deutscher Polleninformationsdienst” confirm over the course of several years, the pollen season is getting longer and stronger. The crazy temperature fluctuations can also make allergies worse. If the plants were covered with frost in November – as is usually the case – the pollen would be in the air around the following March. However, since spring-like temperatures already occur in January and February, the plants can already start producing pollen. Way too early!
A study from Germany (1) last year examined how different types of allergies, including seasonal allergies such as “hay fever”, can be related to people’s mental health. The research team interviewed 1,782 people from Germany between the ages of 39 and 88 years. Result: People with stress-related anxiety disorders were more likely to have pollen allergies. The explanation: Stress can promote inflammation and make the body overly sensitive to allergens.
Yes, it is possible that allergy symptoms increase in old age – even if you change your place of residence harmlessly. Dr. William Reisacher, who works for ear, nose, and throat medicine at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. As he explained to the New York Times magazine, it is common for an allergic person who moves to a different climate or moves from the countryside to the city (or vice versa) to experience an improvement in symptoms. However, after being in this environment for about three to five years, the immune system begins to recognize the “new air” as foreign invaders. The result: the symptoms reappear and, depending on the extent of other irritants (dust, air pollution, etc.), can worsen.
Environmental pollutants cause the plants to be “stressed” and therefore produce and release more allergens. In short: on the one hand the total amount of allergens increases, on the other hand, the allergic reaction is intensified by the combination of pollen with pollutants. However, the increased amounts of pollen in the air increase the misery of those affected into old age. Also because people around the world are living longer and longer, allergies may occur more frequently in the elderly in the future. So far, however, there have been more studies of allergies in children than in adults, and this should change soon, as experts repeatedly urge.
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