Regardless of your age, allergies can develop at any stage of life, and often do so quite suddenly. Sometimes it may be the result of exposure to a new allergen, or due to repeated exposure over time that finally triggers your immune system to respond.
When you are an adult, it can be hard to determine if your sniffles, sneezing or itchy eyes are just a common summertime cold, or if they could be sudden onset allergies. All of these symptoms can be the allergic response to your body’s contact with an allergen. When you come in contact with a new allergen, such as mold spores, your body reacts by producing histamines to fight the allergen. The histamines are what cause the cold like symptoms you may experience, and also why many types of allergy medications are labeled as “antihistamines.”
Typically, a summer cold will come and go over the period of a few days to a week. If your symptoms return on and off over the season or linger for longer than a week , chances are you are dealing with allergies, instead of a simple cold.
The only way to know for sure, and to get started on long-term relief, is to visit your doctor at Atlanta ENT for full allergy testing. It’s important not to ignore allergies or simply self-medicate with over the counter medications, as allergies can lead to sinus infections and even additional allergies over time.
Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT