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People with allergies know how stressful it is to live with this kind of condition. Not only can allergies strike any time, but it can put a person in harm’s way more often than necessary. Unfortunately, while some people are prone to allergies, others live a relatively allergy-free life.
It is no wonder why so many people ask themselves, “Is allergy genetic?” Understandably, no parent with debilitating food allergies would want their own children to go through life with the same condition. Before finding out whether allergies are genetic or not, it is important to first understand the definition of an allergy, its main causes, and symptoms.
An allergy is an immune system reaction to a particular substance within the person’s surrounding environment. To the average person, these substances are harmless, but for the person who is sensitive to them, these substances can cause anything from a mild to severe allergic reaction.
Reactions like these occur because the immune system perceives the allergen as an invading organism. In response, it produces antibodies, which make a beeline for cells that release histamine along with other chemicals.
Allergies often trigger reactions in a person’s nose, sinuses, eyes, airways, skin, ear, and gastrointestinal tract. They can cause hay fever, eczema, and skin rashes. Severe allergic reactions may even cause asthma and anaphylaxis.
An allergic reaction can be caused by a wide range of substances. Here are just some of the main causes of allergies:
These are just some of the allergens afflicting people today. Dust mites and pollen allergies are among the most common, while fruit and latex allergies are less common. Still, because allergies are an immune system response, they can be triggered by anything that the body perceives as a threat.
Genetics play a big role in determining if a person has a hypersensitive immune system. If parents have allergies, then there is a greater chance for them to pass this on to their children. However, this does not mean that you will have the same allergies as your mom or dad. If you are allergic to pollen, your child may be allergic to something else entirely. Apart from having a genetic predisposition to allergies, your children’s allergic reaction may also be more severe.
However, there are also children that do not have family with allergies, but still develop them on their own. This has lead researchers to believe that some allergic reactions are also due to environmental factors as well. More than this, it is normal for a person to develop and outgrow allergies throughout the course of their lives. People who were allergic to peanuts when they were children may find that they can eat it without adverse reactions as they get older. Other people who were able to consume peanuts with ease when they were younger may develop an allergy as they get older.
So, is allergy genetic or not? The answer is yes. Even if environmental factors play a large part in developing the type of allergy, having the predisposition to allergic reactions are found in the person’s genes.
Parents with severe allergic reactions are advised to bring their children to an allergy doctor even before they present symptoms. This prevents future complications from drugs or food that they do not know about. If the child starts having allergies, then he or she may be able to start on immunotherapy treatments immediately. Immunotherapy treatments acclimatize the body to the allergen. This may even save the child’s life, especially if he or she is prone to severe allergic reactions.