You can’t move away from allergies, study says
Looking for an allergy free region of the country to get away from sneezing and itchy eyes? New research shows no matter where you live in the country, allergy misery is just about the same, but the kind of allergy you are likely to suffer from is what varies.
The study, recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found no matter where a person lives about 45 percent of people over the age of six had positive tests for at least one allergen, and so did 36 percent of children.
“Before this study, if you would have asked 10 allergy specialists if allergy prevalence varied depending on where people live, all 10 of them would have said yes, because allergen exposures tend to be more common in certain regions of the U.S.,” Dr. Darryl Zeldin, scientific director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said in an agency news release.
“This study found when a person is predisposed to developing allergies (especially if there is a family history of allergies) they are going to develop an allergy to whatever is in their environment,” says Dr. Aijaz Alvi, an otolaryngologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “However the research also shows that what people become allergic to is the unique part. The good news is that there are effective treatments for allergies now, ranging from over-the-counter/prescription medications, allergy drops, allergy shots, etc.”
The research found that while the overall rate of allergies was about the same across the country, children age one to five-years-old in southern states had higher allergy rates than those in other parts of the country.
Additional findings included:
- West: Grass and ragweed sensitivities were higher.
- East: Mold allergy was more common and positive tests for indoor allergens were higher.
- Almost no regional differences for peanut, shrimp, egg, dog, cat, rat and mouse sensitivities.
- Adults: Dust mites, grass and ragweed are the most common, with almost 20 percent of showing sensitivity to each. About 12 percent were sensitive to dogs or cats.
- Children: Milk and eggs were the most common positive tests.
“The greatest takeaway from the research is that allergies really aren’t worse in certain parts of the country as previously thought,” Dr. Alvi says.
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