ZocdocAnswersCan you develop an allergy?

Question

Can you develop an allergy?

I've never had trouble around dogs before, but ever since I moved into a new house where my roommate has a dog I am sneezing non stop. Is it possible that I developed a dog allergy later in life? Is that even possible?

Answer

Your intuition is correct that most allergies tend to develop early in life (as children) and then either get better or persist into adulthood. It is rarer to develop a new allergy as an adult but it is technically possible. It certainly does sound like the symptoms you are experiencing, including constant sneezing, might be an allergic. Other symptoms would include red or itching eyes and nasal congestion. I think you are right that the most likely cause of the allergy is the dog, since this is a major new exposure for you. However, you have just moved into a new apartment, so keep in mind that there are other possibilities as well, such as mold or mites in the new apartment that were not in the environment that you used to live in. I would suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue. They will be able to confirm the diagnosis of allergies, and then they will be able to make some recommendations as to how to treat them. Most of the time, simple cases of allergies can be treated with non sedating anti histamines, although sometimes other types of medications are also recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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