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The Thanksgiving Effect may mean more than a full stomach for allergy sufferers

Adult-onset pet dander allergies may be triggered on holiday trips home.

The holidays can be difficult for those who suffer from allergies, since many people find themselves eating different foods, traveling and briefly inhabiting unfamiliar surroundings. And just because you could tolerate Mom's pooch or Grandpa's cat when you were younger, doesn't mean you're forever immune to pet dander allergies.

According to United Press International, the seasonal flare-up of previously undiscovered allergies is referred to as the Thanksgiving Effect due to its common onset around the holidays, though you probably won't be giving thanks for it anytime soon.

Adult-onset allergies aren't uncommon, and, as Everyday Health reports, they can start affecting people at any age. Though many experts still don't fully understand allergies, Dr. Deborah Pockross explained to the source that doctors think they are caused by dietary factors, sanitary environments that suppress immune system development and poor ventilation in homes and offices. Many adults start feeling allergy symptoms after they've been sick or while pregnant, since those are both times when the immune system is compromised.

"As we age, our immune system does weaken – that is why more seniors get pneumonia than 20-year-olds," Dr. Anthony Weido, president of Allergy & Asthma Associates, told Everyday Health. "As the immune system weakens, the hyper-allergic reaction also weakens."

In many cases, adults diagnosed with allergies likely had an allergic reaction when they were younger and don't even remember. Moving around to different locations can exacerbate the levels of allergens, causing the symptoms to appear.

If you find yourself dealing with the Thanksgiving Effect, there are ways to minimize the symptoms and cut back on the tissues and eye drops. A whole house air purifier can help reduce dust and allergens in your home and give you some relief from that pesky pet dander.

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