Among all known diseases, allergies are placed among the most universally manifesting diseases among humans. It does not discriminate among the individuals to be infected. People of all ages, gender, culture, nationality and skin color have equal chances of developing them.
Perhaps, the determining factor in the emergence of the symptoms characteristic of a specific type of allergy is the level of exposure to certain allergen.
Allergic people develop characteristic symptoms which are not found in a normal individual should they be exposed to a certain allergens.
For example, an individual allergic to dust develops typical condition such as sneezing, shortness of breath, abnormal or increased production of nasal and bronchial mucus enough to suffocate an individual.
Allergen is a type of antigen. Antigen is a particle which the body recognizes as foreign and attacks it via its own biological machineries.
Who are at Risk in Developing Allergies?
Not all individuals react the same to different allergens. While some individuals may only develop slight symptoms upon allergic attack, others exposed to the same dosage can become a life-threatening factor for them.
Through the study of allergies and allergic attacks, it is apparent that some individuals have a higher probability of acquiring an allergic condition compared to other individuals exposed to the same particle.
Each age level is particularly prone to a certain allergen. This fact should provide you with an idea on how you can at least minimize, if not perfectly avoid, the attack of allergy.
Age is one factor in the development of such condition since it is one of the critical stages by which an individual starts biologically identifying the components of his or her surroundings. Younger individuals are more prone to developing allergic reactions to particulate materials in their environment.
Research shows that 7 to 8 out of 10 newly born infants have a large predisposition in acquiring hypersensitivity to anything in their surroundings. Moreover, 1 out of 7 American adults suffer from at least one type of allergic condition.
Record shows that more than 35 million Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis (discussed in an upcoming chapter;) developing extreme biological withdrawal for the presence of pollens. Some adults are allergic to food and other processed food products such as milk (lactose intolerance).
Some even develop allergic reactions among substances used in clothing such as color dyes and bleaching chemical agent (contact dermatitis) and other forms of medications such as penicillin and other antibiotics (drug hypersensitivity).
Some young adults who have experienced lesser attacks or were not put into any allergic state earlier in their life are apt to develop such condition should adequate trigger attacks (allergen particles) are present.
Current research at the Medical College of Georgia, Section of Allergy and Immunology shows that children who grew up with dogs and cats, typical allergic sources, have significantly shown to have lesser allergic tendencies than children who don’t have any pets at home.
More than 50% of the 474 children who were placed on an experimental study from birth until 7 years old did not develop allergic reactions to dogs and showed an increased resistance to outdoor allergens such as dust, fungus, and mites, among others.