Will Your Child Outgrow Their Allergy?
Allergies from pollen, food, chemicals, and animals can make daily life unpleasant and inconvenient for children who are diagnosed with allergies. Often, their parents hope that their child will one day outgrow the allergy and be able to live a more normal life. Though it is possible for a child to outgrow an allergy, this event does not always occur. Different types of allergies behave differently as people age, so it is impossible to accurately predict whether or not a person will be able to grow out of their allergy.
Do Many People Outgrow Food Allergies?
When a person is allergic to an item, their body is reacting negatively because the immune system is mislead into thinking that the item is dangerous. For some people, their immune system gradually learns that the item is not harmful, so they no longer suffer from the allergic response.
Studies by medical researchers have revealed that the likelihood of a person outgrowing a food allergy is based on the type of food that they are allergic to. For example, peanut allergies are extremely common, but it is somewhat unusual for a person to not have this allergy as an adult. Tree nut allergies are also unlikely to be outgrown, and only four percent of people with an allergy to fish or crustaceans ever outgrow these allergies.
People who do outgrow an allergy to a certain type of food are more likely to do this in their teenage years. Only a very small amount of kids outgrow an allergy by the age of five, but it is far more common by the time they reach the age of 16. Some recent studies have shown that kids who have an allergy to milk or eggs may be able to speed up the process of outgrowing them by occasionally eating baked milk or eggs. However, it is necessary to consult with an allergist before giving a child any food they have an allergy to. The food allergies that are most likely to be outgrown include:
- Milk – This is the most commonly outgrown allergy. Roughly 85 percent of kids with milk allergies will eventually outgrow them. 40 percent of kids outgrow their allergy by the age of 8, while the rest who outgrew their allergy did not do so until they were 16.
- Eggs – 47 percent of kids with an allergy to eggs outgrew it by the time they were 10. 68 percent of all children who were originally diagnosed with an egg allergy no longer had one by the age of 16.
- Soy and Wheat – There are no precise numbers of how many kids outgrow their soy and wheat allergies, but it is very common for them to outgrow this type of allergy. Doctors estimate that roughly 60 percent of kids with soy or wheat allergies no longer have them by adulthood.
How Common Is it to Outgrow Environmental Allergies?
Environmental allergies is a loose term to describe any type of allergic reaction to something that is not ingested. These types of allergies can include things like pollen allergies, dust mite allergies, or animal dander allergies. Unlike food allergies, it is very uncommon for kids to no longer have these allergies as adults. Most adults who think they have outgrown an environmental allergy are actually just no longer exposed to the specific type of allergens that caused their negative reactions as kids. However, the way environmental allergens express themselves frequently change as the years pass. Many people find that they might just get itchy eyes instead of coughing or sneezing when exposed to their allergen.