Menu Get Started
Cart
Name Price QTY

Subtotal:
Taxes and shipping calculated at checkout

View cart

Your cart is empty
Are Allergies Hereditary?

Are Allergies Hereditary?

×
Medically Reviewed By:
Dr. Shuba Iyengar
×
Dr. Shuba Iyengar
After graduating from UC Berkeley, Shuba completed medical school at Duke University, earning her MPH in tandem at UNC. After a research fellowship at the NIH, Shuba completed her residency at Stanford, then fellowship in allergy-immunology at Boston Childrens/Harvard.

Although allergies are prevalent, the precise reason why some individuals develop allergies while others do not remains a mystery. Despite this uncertainty, numerous studies suggest that genetics influence the likelihood of developing allergies.

Understanding The Genetic Component

Several studies indicate that genetics can play a role in the onset of allergies. Approximately 50% of persistent allergies are hereditary, passed down from parents to offspring. If one parent has allergies, there is a 50% probability that their child may also develop allergies. Moreover, when both parents have allergies, children are over 75% more susceptible to developing allergies. Nonetheless, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and medical background can also influence an individual's predisposition to allergies.

Can Specific Allergies Be Inherited?

Some children may develop a condition called atopy, which increases the likelihood of developing allergies due to genetics. However, some individuals without a family history of allergies also experience allergic conditions. While there is a possibility of inheriting allergies from your parents, it is not certain.

Allergic conditions are commonly associated with genetics and can include asthma, hay fever, atopic eczema, and food allergies. These conditions seem to be interconnected and follow a specific pattern based on an individual's genetic predisposition. Additionally, it is worth noting that children with eczema are more prone to having food allergies.

Who Develops Allergies?

Allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, are not harmful to the immune system of individuals. However, when someone with allergies comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system mistakenly perceives it as a threat. Subsequently, the body's defense system is activated, treating the allergen as an intruder and mounting a response against it.

Upon exposure to an allergen, the immune system generates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies and releases histamine, a chemical that triggers allergy symptoms affecting various parts of the body. These symptoms can impact the eyes, nose, lungs, throat, and gastrointestinal tract as the body combats the allergen.

Other Factors for Developing Allergies

Research studies show that chronic and food allergies are often caused by environmental and genetic factors. While the exact reasons for allergies remain unclear, there are theories about factors that contribute to their development. Some of the suggested risk factors include:

  • Diet
  • Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Environmental changes
  • Viral respiratory infections
  • High concentrations of allergens in the environment
  • Increased use of antibiotics

Environmental Factors at Play

While genetics can increase the likelihood of developing allergies, environmental factors also play a significant role. Exposure to allergens, pollutants, and other environmental triggers can influence the development of allergies, even in individuals without a genetic predisposition.

Complex Interactions

It is important to understand that allergies are the result of complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. While genetics can increase susceptibility to allergies, environmental exposures ultimately determine whether an individual will develop allergies.

Therefore, while allergies can have a hereditary component, they are not solely determined by genetics. It is essential to consider both genetic predisposition and environmental factors when evaluating the risk of developing allergies.

Typical Allergy Symptoms.

Dealing with allergy symptoms can be quite frustrating, as they can sometimes resemble other conditions like the common cold. It's crucial to be aware of the signs that indicate an allergic reaction. While the manifestation of allergy symptoms can vary from person to person, some common ones include:

  • Congested or runny nose
  • Nasal blockage
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Itchy eyes, ears, or mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Worsened asthma symptoms

If you have trouble breathing or experience any signs of anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction, seek immediate emergency medical help. 

 

FAQ

What are allergies?
Allergies are the body's immune system reacting to a substance that is typically harmless to most people. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander, certain foods, and insect stings.

Are allergies hereditary?
Yes, allergies can be hereditary. If one or both parents have allergies, their children are more likely to develop allergies as well. Studies have shown that genetics play a significant role in the development of allergies.

How do genetics influence allergies?
Specific genes can make a person more susceptible to developing allergies. These genes can affect how the immune system responds to allergens, making some individuals more prone to allergic reactions.

What is the likelihood of inheriting allergies?
The risk of inheriting allergies varies depending on the specific allergy and family history. If both parents have allergies, the child's risk increases. However, allergies can also develop in individuals with no family history of allergies.

Can allergies skip a generation?
While allergies can appear to skip a generation, the genetic predisposition to allergies can still be present. Environmental factors and lifestyle choices can also influence the development of allergies in individuals.

Can allergies be prevented?
While allergies cannot be completely prevented, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing allergies. Avoiding known allergens, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and seeking medical advice can help manage allergies effectively.

CUSTOMIZED ALLERGY TREATMENT AT HOME:

Using multiple over-the-counter allergy treatments is not ideal for getting through allergy season. Skip the drugstore and get a personalized all-in-one allergy treatment from the comfort of your home.

Allermi is a customized allergy nasal spray designed by experienced, board-certified allergists to solve your unique seasonal allergy symptoms. The Allermi formula is backed by science to give you the most effective allergy treatment for your individual allergy symptoms.

The best part? Allermi nasal spray is easy to use and delivered straight to your door.