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The Causes of Allergies

Most Factors are Out of Your Control
  -- By Leanne Beattie, Health Writer & Nicole Nichols, Health Educator
While scientists don’t completely understand why allergies develop, they do believe that a combination of things create the immune system confusion, from genetic predisposition to environmental factors.

There are two main categories of risks that can contribute to the development of allergies—those that you can't change, and those that you can. Because you can't control whether or not you develop allergies, the line between uncontrollable risks (which are out of your control) and controllable factors is grey.  Many things that may prevent allergies need to occur at a very young age.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors
These variables are out of your control. Although you can’t do anything to change them, it’s important to know if you are at risk. Controllable Risk Factors
There are no controllable risk factors for adults who wish to decrease their risk of developing allergies, because allergy development isn't related to lifestyle habits. Intervention needs to occur early—during infancy and childhood. The following risk factors are considered uncontrollable for adults, but you can keep them in mind if you want to intervene to prevent your child from developing allergies. While most risk factors for allergies are out of your control, it is possible to reduce your allergy symptoms by limiting your exposure to known allergens. Healthy eating habits and exercise can further strengthen the immune system and help avoid unwanted reactions.