Allergies?  Girls can thank Mom, guys can thank Dad

It is well-established that there is a strong genetic link for allergies.  If both parents have allergies, the chance of your inheriting them is about 75 percent.  But research has also shown that genders figures into the calculus.  Scientists used to believe that allergies were a maternal effect, but a 2012 study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that paternal “allergy genes” have a strong influence on sons as do the maternal version of these genes on daughters.


The study included about 1,500 children and revealed that in males, their risk for developing asthma was only increased if their father had been diagnosed with this condition.  The same for girls who were only at increased risk for asthma if their mothers had likewise had asthma.  The findings proved consistent with other allergic conditions as well (including eczema).

Thankfully, though, there are treatment options—even for those with hereditary allergies.  Allergy immunotherapy can “re-educate” your immune system and modify the underlying allergic disease.  Immunotherapy starts with a “serum” that can be prescribed through allergy shots or oral allergy drops. It contains extracts of common allergens (pollens, pet dander, etc.)  As your body is exposed to these allergens through immunotherapy, it can learn to stop having adverse reactions to them (and, thus, stop having allergic reactions).

So while you can’t stop the “genetic curse” from traveling from generation to generation, at least you can modify its effects and help yourself and your posterity live without the curse of allergy symptoms!