If you are in your 30s and have never had allergies in your life, yet are developing allergy-like symptoms, then you may wonder if it is possible to suddenly develop allergies later in life. The truth is that it is possible, and many people who never had allergies as children or teenagers develop them in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even later in life. In fact, an estimated 30 percent of all adults have spring allergies, so don't feel alone and realize that there are many treatments for spring allergies.
If you have already tried mild over-the-counter antihistamines and they didn't work or left you too sleepy to function, then read on to learn what your doctor can offer you that may work much better for you than the OTC allergy remedies.
1. Allergy Testing
The first step to effective treatment of your allergies is finding out what you truly are allergic to. While you may suspect that you are allergic to pollen if your allergies began in the spring, tests may reveal your allergen is actually dust or dust mites, which you can take steps to avoid. Or you may have multiple allergies that require a more comprehensive allergy treatment plan.
There are two main types of allergy tests, and both are very simple. The first is a skin test, and to perform this test, an allergy specialist simply places small amounts of various allergens on your skin to see if your skin turns red in the area and/or starts itching. An alternative allergy test is a blood test, and to perform this test, your allergy doctor will simply draw a small vial of your blood and send it off to a laboratory to check for specific antibodies that signal allergies to specific substances.
2. Effective, Targeted Allergy Medications
Once your doctor determines what substances you are actually allergic to, he or she can recommend allergy medications that work well at battling those specific allergens. Additional medication tailoring can be performed to target your specific allergy symptoms only to reduce medication side effects.
For example, if your only allergy symptom is a runny nose and congestion, then your doctor may be able to prescribe a nasal spray that alleviates those symptoms without you having to take an allergy pill. Or if your eyes are itchy, but you don't have any other symptoms, then he or she may prescribe or recommend allergy eye drops.
3. Natural Allergy Remedies
If you would prefer to alleviate your allergy symptoms naturally, then another option you can request is allergy immunotherapy. This therapy involves exposing your body to small amounts of the substances it is allergic to on a regular basis to slowly eliminate the allergy. While allergy immunotherapy once had to be performed with injections or "allergy shots," there is now a sublingual form of allergy immunotherapy where you simply dissolve a small pellet under your tongue every day until your allergies are relieved.
If you feel like you are developing allergy symptoms in your 30s, yet you have never had allergies in your life, then you likely are truly just developing allergies. While OTC antihistamines can be helpful, visit an allergist for allergy testing and targeted treatment if the OTC medications make you sleepy or cause other unwanted side effects.