This is probably an easy question, but I've yet to find an answer.

Recently I felt under the weather more and more often, especially at the time I was waking up. I assumed this was an allergy-related thing so I did an allergy test and found out that I am allergic to dust-mites. This does explain my condition after waking up, as these mites mostly reside in the mattress and thus affect you during sleep. However, it doesn't explain why this allergy hadn't affected me at all until now and why it suddently appeared after 20+ years. So the question is, is this (and more generally other allergies) a congenital situation, or was it developed due to my way of life, (non) cleaning habits etc.?

  • $\begingroup$ Have you read this quite good article? What don't you understand after reading it? $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Nov 21 '16 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @MattDMo well, wikipedia articles are always explanatory, but in this case, I can't spot any part that refers to weather dust-mite allergy or allergies in general are inherent or not.. $\endgroup$ – bergercookie Nov 21 '16 at 20:20

Allergies are caused by one's immune system. If you had never been exposed to the allergen, you would not experience any symptoms. So they are not innate or inherent.

Why do people develop food allergies after repeated exposure? I have not read any convincing explanations for the biology behind this. When you look at the heavy-chain switching that takes place in B-cells, the IgE that are responsible for allergy symptoms are the terminal switch, so those antibody variable regions have already been selected during your life history up until that point.

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