Sorry ladies — you’re more apt to experience the runny nose and watery eyes from allergies than men are, experts say.

While rhinitis (the name for symptoms that affect the nose, such as stuffy and runny nose), asthma and food allergies are more common among prepubescent males, after puberty, women are more likely than men to experience these conditions.

The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

“The importance of sex differences in the practice of allergy-immunology cannot be overstated,” presenter Renata Engler, M.D., an allergist and fellow of the ACAAI, said in a statement. “Improved sex/gender based medicine and research practices will benefit men and women alike.”

However, a 2011 study by Quest Diagnostics showed that men are more likely to test positive for allergies than women are. TIME reported some possible reasons for why:

The reason for the discrepancy isn’t clear, but the authors have a few theories: a) it’s possible that girls and women are simply tested for allergies more often than boys and men; b) allergies in men have been underestimated, which means they’ve been potentially undertreated; or c) the criteria for allergic sensitivity may depend on gender and may change with age.


January 8,