How A Person Develops Allergies Over Time

Larry Richert and John Shumway
May 15, 2019 - 11:16 am
Girl sneezing in park

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - There is an incredibly high pollen count in Western Pennsylvania and individuals with allergies are feeling it.

“People are definitely suffering from increased symptoms and it’s been really disruptive,” said allergist/immunologist Dr. Thomas Mertz with Allergy and Asthma Associates of Pittsburgh, during an interview with KDKA Radio on Wednesday.

Dr. Mertz has had allergies ever since he was a kid and he wants everyone to understand the difference between allergies and a cold.

 “If you have something that continues for weeks and weeks, usually it’s more allergy than infection,” Dr. Mertz explains.

The symptoms include itchy/watery eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, or sneezing. Lack of energy is another thing to look out for.   

If you’ve never had an issue with allergies in the past, don’t think you never will.

“The way a person develops an allergy is they have a genetic disposition based on exposure. If your exposure reaches a certain threshold, you start to have symptoms,” Dr. Mertz added.

“Some people have allergies when they are young and they go away, or continue; or the other thing that people don’t realize as often is that you can develop allergies as an adult.”

He recommends antihistamines and nasal sprays as a defense.

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