If you suffer from allergies, you might think you know everything there is to know about them. However, these interesting facts are bound to teach you a thing or two you didn’t know about allergies, and underlying reasons you might be suffering from them.
1. You’re more likely to suffer from allergies if you’re an oldest child.
A 2011 study found that food allergies in particular were more prevalent in oldest children than in their younger siblings. Four percent of oldest children suffered from food allergies, and only 3.5 percent of second born and 2.6 of third born children or later. There is speculation that this is because multiple pregnancies may create changes in the womb that support a healthier immune system in children. Another hypothesis is that because first-time parents are likely to be more meticulous about hygiene and sterilization than second and third time parents, second children and children born later on are more likely to be subjected to allergens. And the more allergens you are exposed to, the more likely you are to become immune to that allergen.
2. Some people undergo sinus surgery in an effort to relieve allergies.
In fact, the number of people who get this procedure done can exceed 40,000 in a year. If you suffer from relentless allergies, an ear, nose and throat doctor can prescribe many different medications, including antibiotics, decongestants, nasal sprays and antihistamines. However, some people continue to suffer from recurring sinus infections and can become unresponsive to the medications. In these cases, the patient with allergies might consider sinus surgery to enlarge the openings in the sinuses that allow them to drain properly. These surgeries can come with a load of their own consequences, but for people with severe and chronic allergies, they can offer some relief.
3. Not only is it possible for you to be allergic to your pets, they could be allergic to you.
While being allergic to cats or dogs can result in nasal allergies as well as allergic reactions in the skin, your pet might also be allergic to you. Cats and dogs may experience rashes in reaction to human dander, and cats may have asthma attacks triggered by human dandruff as well as other environmental triggers. About one in 200 cats suffers from asthma or allergies, and oriental breeds may be more likely to experience this than others.
4. Obesity may be linked with allergies.
Especially in children, obesity may be linked with food allergies. According to a study published in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 59% of obese children were found to have increased reports of food sensitivities. However, it is unclear whether food allergies cause obesity, or if obesity encourages food allergies. In any case, avoidance of foods that your child is allergic to may be key in maintaining a healthy weight through childhood.
5. If you suffer from allergies, you may have a reduced risk of developing brain cancer.
Recent studies suggest that there is a link between allergies and a reduced risk of developing a type of brain cancer called glioma. Blood samples were taken from patients from long before they were diagnosed with glioma, and those whose blood samples contained allergy-related antibodies were 50% less likely to develop glioma over the next twenty years, as compared to those without presence of the antibodies. This may mean those with immunity to allergies and people affected by glioma share a common gene.
* Berman, John; Metz, Jennifer “Firstborn Children More Likely to Develop Food Allergies, Study Says,” www. abcnews.go.com
* “Fact Sheet, Sinus Surgery,” www. entnet.org
* “Asthmatic Cats May Be Allergic to Humans, Vets Say,” www.sciencedaily.com
* “Link Discovered Between Obesity and Food Allergies in Children,” www.carolinascoastalhealth.com
* Caldwell, Emily “People With Allergies May Have Lower Risk of Brain Tumors,” www.researchnews.osu.edu