It’s the same situation every spring: the plants bloom, pollen is in the air, and you spend your days sniffling and sneezing. Don’t worry, your friends say. Your allergies change every seven years, so you won’t have to deal with this for the rest of your life. But is that really true?

How allergies change

Yes, your allergies can change over time, but they don’t change on a strict seven-year cycle. So, what has led to that myth? Why do your allergies fluctuate?

For one thing, when people move to new regions, their allergies can disappear because their allergens aren’t in those new areas. For example, if you live in North Carolina and move to another part of the country, your allergies won’t follow you if those pollens aren’t there. While you may develop allergies to something in this new region, it won’t happen right away because your immune system will need time to develop a reaction.

Why age matters

Another factor is age. Some people do age out of their allergies, but it’s not on a strict seven-year cycle. Others who have allergies as young children find they disappear as they get older, although it’s not entirely known why some people outgrow their childhood allergies and others don’t. Also, elderly people often don’t have allergies because their immune systems get weaker and no longer respond to allergens. That’s not to say older people can’t get allergies, though. It’s just that they are less likely to have them.

How your body is responsible

Hunter Hoover, MD

In some cases, hormonal changes – for example, when women are going through their menstrual cycle – can have an effect. Other factors that can affect your immune system, such as weight gain, can subsequently impact your allergies. Finally, some symptoms you attribute to allergies may be due to infections or other fluctuating medical conditions.

“Your allergy symptoms may ebb and flow over time, but don’t listen to that friend of yours who thinks his only have one year left,” CEENTA ENT doctor Hunter Hoover, MD, said.

And no matter how many years you’ve had allergies, CEENTA’s doctors are available to treat you.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Hoover practices in our SouthPark office. Are you looking for an allergy doctor near you? Call 704-295-3000 to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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