Have you ever heard the phrase “outgrow an allergy?” Perhaps you yourself have outgrown allergies in the past, or you have a child who has outgrown his or her allergies. Rashes, congestion, and itchy eyes are all symptoms of allergic reactions to pollens, pets, plants, etc.
No parent wants to see their child suffer from lifelong allergies. Therefore, the hope of outgrowing allergies is a hot topic in parenthood, but what does it really mean? And is it really possible to outgrow an allergy? Let’s find out.
Is it possible to outgrow an allergy?
Yes, it is possible for children to outgrow their allergies. And yes, sometimes this does happen naturally. The potential to naturally outgrow an allergy depends on the type of allergy and its severity.
For example, an estimated 60-80% of children outgrow their milk/egg allergies, according to Mayo Clinic. However, only 5% of children will outgrow a shellfish allergy as those tend to result in much more severe symptoms.
How does the body outgrow an allergy?
An allergy is an immune response to an otherwise harmless substance. Let’s say someone has a pollen allergy and they go outside on a beautiful spring day. Their immune system will go into overdrive, producing immunoglobulin E antibodies, which produce allergic reactions.
Repeated, small doses of an allergen – in this case, pollen – would result in the body slowly learning to tolerate it. This is very similar to how some vaccines work, introducing the body to a small amount of a pathogen, helping the body to cope with it on its own.
Immunotherapy to outgrow allergies
Some parents wonder what they can do to help their child outgrow their allergies. Immunotherapy might be the answer. Immunotherapy introduces small amounts of the allergen into the body, slowly increasing the amount over the years. This process increases the body’s tolerance to the allergen until the patient experiences little to no allergic reaction at all.
Allergen immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for many people – child or adult – with allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, conjunctivitis, or stinging insect allergy.
Find allergy relief with NEAAI
If you or your child have allergies, schedule an appointment today to learn more about your treatment options. We have five convenient locations throughout Massachusetts to best serve your family’s needs.