If you didn’t grow up with the annual itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and headache, consider yourself lucky. You may not be totally off the hook, though. About half of all new allergies occur to adults in their early 40s.

The most common adult-onset allergies include mold, pollen, and dust mites. They can suddenly come on if you recently moved to a new area, started a new job, or started eating new types of foods.

Allergies that you had as a young child can also go away and then reappear suddenly in adulthood. Some children also have allergies that go undiagnosed. These seemingly new allergies could be a result of you being more exposed to the allergies now than when you were a child. Your immune system may also have changed to become more sensitive to the allergen. Allergies also evolve and change throughout life. You may have a flower allergy in early adulthood, that migrates to a ragweed allergies, that changes again in late adulthood to dust mites.

Some irritants such as tobacco smoke, car exhaust, and perfume can produce symptoms similar to allergies even if you’re not allergic to them. Some medications and medical conditions can also cause the illusion of or a change in allergies.



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