Allergen exposure changes

Allergy is constantly evolving and triggers and symptoms may change over time. In general, a toddler or a small child is exposed (and sensitive) to different allergens than the average adult. Regular testing and re-evaluation of the underlying allergy is necessary to tailor the treatment and possible avoidance advice.

Infants 0-1 year  |  Toddlers 1-3 years  |  Children 3-6 years  | 
School children 6-15 years  |  Young adults  |  Adults

For most people, allergy begins as a harmless condition and it may be years before symptoms develop. For others, food, drug or an insect bite can result in sudden, life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

What triggers a condition depends on what the person is exposed to in different stages of life. Through regular blood testing you can follow the development of a patient’s allergy and thus optimize quality of life.

 

Infants 0-1 years old

The first responses directed to food may be observed already in the first months of life and are commonly directed to hen’s eggs and cow’s milk.

Typical symptoms in infants

  • Eczema (dry skin, itchy skin, skin rashes, hives, nettle rash)
  • Gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain)
  • Wheeze (coughing, whistling breath, shortness of breath)

Common allergens causing allergy in infants

  • Milk
  • Egg

 

Toddlers 1-3 years

Sensitization to other environmental allergy triggers (allergens) usually requires more time than food to develop and is generally observed between the first and tenth years of life. In general skin problems like eczema and dry itchy skin (atopic dermatitis) is the first sign of an allergic response during the first three years of life.

Seasonal allergic symptoms from the eye and nose area (rhino conjunctivitis) are very rarely observed during the first two years of life.

Typical symptoms in toddlers

  • Eczema (dry skin, itchy skin, skin rashes, hives, nettle rash)
  • Gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain)
  • Asthma (coughing, wheezing, whistling breath, shortness of breath)

Common allergens causing allergy in toddlers

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Wheat
  • Soybean
  • Peanuts
  • House dust mite
  • Tree nuts (hazelnut, brazil nut, walnut)
  • Furry pets (cat, dog and other common household pets)
  • Grass pollen
  • Tree pollen
  • Weed pollen

 

Children 3-6 years

In pre-school children the sensitization to pollen and grass becomes more generally observed, and symptoms related to the eye and nose area are more common.

Typical symptoms in children

  • Asthma (coughing, wheezing, whistling breath, shortness of breath)
  • Rhinitis (runny nose, blocked-up nose, sneezing, breathing through the mouth (only), itchy nose, itchy throat, itchy, red eyes and swollen eyelids, weeping eyes)
  • Eczema (dry skin, itchy skin, skin rashes, hives, nettle rash)

Common allergens causing allergy in children

  • Furry pets (cat, dog and other common household pets).
  • House dust mites
  • Grass pollen
  • Tree pollen
  • Weed pollen
  • Moulds
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (hazelnut, brazil nut, walnut) 

 

School Children 6-15 years

Most common exposure of allergy triggers in school children are through the respiratory system, but concerns about children in this age are usually related to food allergies and possibilities to control diet in school.

Typical symptoms in school children

  • Asthma (coughing, wheezing, whistling breath, shortness of breath)
  • Rhinitis (runny nose, blocked-up nose, sneezing, breathing through the mouth (only), itchy nose, itchy throat, itchy, red eyes and swollen eyelids, weeping eyes)
  • Eczema (dry skin, itchy skin, skin rashes, hives, nettle rash)

Common allergens causing allergy in school children

  • Furry pets (cat, dog and other common household pets).
  • House dust mites
  • Grass pollen
  • Tree pollen
  • Weed pollen
  • Moulds
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (hazelnut, brazil nut, walnut)

 

Young adults

Most common exposure of allergy triggers are through the respiratory system. At this age, decisions are made about professional careers and other changes in life that may influence the exposure to triggers.

Typical symptoms in young adults

  • Rhinitis (runny nose, blocked-up nose, sneezing, breathing through the mouth (only), itchy nose, itchy throat, itchy, red eyes and swollen eyelids, weeping eyes)
  • Asthma (coughing, wheezing, whistling breath, shortness of breath)
  • Eczema (dry skin, itchy skin, skin rashes, hives, nettle rash)
  • Oral Allergy Syndrome (itchy throat, itchy mouth, itchy lips)
  • Gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain)

Common allergens causing allergy in young adults

  • Pollen (grass, tree, weed)
  • Furry pets (cat, dog and other common household pets)
  • House dust mites
  • Moulds
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (hazelnut, brazil nut, walnut)
  • Stone fruits (apple, pear, cherry, peach, plum, apricot, kiwi, carrots, raw potato, celery, peanut, soybean, hazelnut, almond and walnut)
  • Fish and shellfish

 

Adults

Most common exposure of allergy triggers are through the respiratory system.

Typical symptoms in adults

  • Rhinitis (runny nose, blocked-up nose, sneezing, breathing through the mouth (only), itchy nose, itchy throat, itchy, red eyes and swollen eyelids, weeping eyes)
  • Asthma (coughing, wheezing, whistling breath, shortness of breath)
  • Eczema (dry skin, itchy skin, skin rashes, hives, nettle rash)
  • Oral Allergy Syndrome (itchy throat, itchy mouth, itchy lips)
  • Gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain)

Common allergens causing allergy in adults

  • Pollen (grass, tree, weed)
  • Furry pets (cat, dog and other common household pets)
  • House dust mites
  • Moulds
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (hazelnut, brazil nut, walnut)
  • Stone fruits (apple, pear, cherry, peach, plum, apricot, kiwi, carrots, raw potato, celery, peanut, soybean, hazelnut, almond and walnut)
  • Fish and shellfish

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.