Allergies in the present Allergies 21/07/2017
The prevalence of allergic diseases worldwide continues to increase, estimating that between 30 and 40% of the population is affected by some of them. In Cataluña, the figures are similar: one in four people suffers from some type of allergic disorder.
The increase in temperature and greater atmospheric pollution are causing upward variations in atmospheric concentrations of pollens, the number of insects and the prevalence of fungi associated with allergic diseases, so it is possible that the number and intensity of cases will increase in the future.
What are allergies?
Allergies, also called hypersensitivity reactions, are exaggerated responses of the immune system (our body's defenses) when coming into contact with certain substances, called allergens. The most frequent allergens in our environment are dust mites, environmental fungi and the epithelia of some animals, such as dogs, cats, horses and rodents. Certain foods, drugs and the sting of insects such as bees or wasps can also generate allergic reactions.
What symptoms do they produce?
The symptoms depend on the affected organ, so allergic rhinitis is characterized by itchy nose, continuous sneezing, transparent mucus, allergic conjunctivitis is presented as itchy eyes, persistent tearing, red eyes or swelling; many times these symptoms occur at the same time and can appear throughout the year, or in certain months, depending on the allergen that causes it.
It is estimated that 80 percent of asthmatics have an allergic basis and a patient with allergic rhinitis is up to 4 times more likely to become asthmatic.
Reactions to medications or food or insect bites can affect the skin, producing itching, hives, swelling, the respiratory system, with sneezing, coughing and in more severe cases, can be life-threatening causing sudden intense respiratory distress, decreased blood pressure, loss of consciousness that can end in shock.
Therefore, it is important that in the presence of some of these symptoms you consult an allergist specialist, who is trained to identify, diagnose and treat an allergic disease.
How and at what age can allergies be diagnosed?
There is currently no age limit for the diagnosis of an allergic disease, which can be done from the first months of life, which is when food allergy most often occurs in children.
The diagnosis depends on the patient's medical history, which are complemented by skin tests, a blood test or tests that the specialist deems necessary. These tests are not invasive or painful and in most cases, the diagnosis can be reached in a short time.
Is the allergy cured?
It is a well-established myth that allergy is a chronic disease that has no cure.
However, nowadays, if you go to an allergist and make a good diagnosis, there are treatments that cure the allergic pathology, as is the case of Immunotherapy, both for respiratory pathology and for · Food allergy. And in the case of drug allergy you can find an alternative medicine that the patient can take.
That is why, in case of doubt or the presence of some of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult with the specialist who can best guide and treat the allergic disease.