Allergies affect more than 50 million people per year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
The most common food allergies are caused by tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Sometimes children can outgrow a food allergy. On the other hand, adults can develop an allergy to a food they had eaten without any trouble in the past.
Life-Threatening Allergic Reactions
The first exposure to an allergen may produce a mild reaction. Repeated exposures may lead to more serious reactions. Once a person has an allergic reaction, exposure to even a small amount of the allergen later can trigger a severe reaction.
The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. Symptoms of anaphylaxis typically start within five to 30 minutes of coming into contact with the allergen. Warning signs include wheezing, breathing difficulties, chest tightening and passing out.
A skin test is the “gold standard” to confirm allergies. Allergy testing can determine what particular pollens, molds, or other substances you’re allergic to. You may need medication to treat your allergies. Alternatively, you can try to avoid your allergy triggers.