Allergy Awareness Week 2016
This week is Allergy Awareness week, a week dedicated to bringing attention to the issues faced by those with allergies and how they are affected every day. In the past couple of years I’ve begun suffering from hayfever, which in the grand scheme of things can be relatively tame when we compare it to food allergies and others that can be extremely harmful, but it’s still a challenge.
An allergy is an overreaction to everyday things like pollen, skin care, cleaning products and even food. The immune system tries to fight the substance by making antibodies which then attach themselves to the surface of mast cells present in the skin, nose, eyes, mouth, throat, stomach and gut. The next time you come into contact with that substance, the mast cells identify it as an intruder and produce histamine along with other chemicals, and this is what can cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. You can find out more in the video below:
Allergies effect around one in four people in the UK at some point in their lives, with as many as half being children. The most common causes of allergic reactions are:
- Proteins secreted from house dust mites
- Foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and milk
- Insects such as wasps and bees
An allergic reaction occurs when someone comes into contact with a substance they are allergic to, and as mentioned earlier the mast cells will produce histamine and other chemicals. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction are:
- Sinus Pain
- Runny Nose
- Nettle Rash/Hives
- Itchy eyes, ears, lips, throat and mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Sickness, vomiting and diarrhoea
- Increase in nasal and airway secretions
The rates of allergy are increasing in all countries undergoing industrial development, with a significant increase in food allergies particularly in children. There are a range of factors involved in determining whether or not you will develop allergies, for example genetics, changes to the food we eat, changes in how we are exposed to food allergens and the environment we live in.
In order to manage better manage the symptoms of your allergy, sensitivity or intolerance you can look for Allergy UK’s seal of approval. We have a range of products that hold the Allergy UK Certification, including household cleaning from Bio D, Ecover, Ecozone, EcoEgg and E-Cloth, so you can keep your home free from allergens and breathe easy.
For seasonal allergies like hay fever you can find natural remedies here.
Are you an allergy sufferer? What products do you use to make it more manageable for you?