In many cases, allergy sufferers can thank Mom and Dad for their allergic misery! If one parent has allergies, a child has a 40 percent chance of inheriting them. That number leaps to 75 percent when both parents have allergies.
Allergies occur when the body mistakes a harmless allergen (such as pollen or pet dander) for a harmful substance. It then overreacts by releasing chemicals such as histamine into the body to fight the allergens off. This move is designed to help the body, but it really ends up depleting its resources and leading to a host of uncomfortable allergy symptoms including wheezing, upset stomach, skin rashes, red eyes, itchiness, runny nose, eczema, hives, or asthma attacks.
But just because someone inherited allergies doesn’t mean they are stuck with them. The main option for immunotherapy used to be shots which can be painful and require patients to drive to the doctor’s office a couple times a week for shots. (Who has time?) But now there are alternatives including sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT. SLIT works much like allergy shots except instead of being injected, the allergy serum can be deposited under the tongue where it absorbs into the bloodstream. It’s safer than shots, so it can be taken at home rather than at the doctor’s office.