An allergy is caused by an allergen, a foreign substance that causes an immune system reaction. It is commonly triggered by food, a drug or an object like an untidy carpet or fur from your pet dog or cat. An allergic reaction brings about symptoms like coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and scratchy throat. It can also cause rashes, hives, low blood pressure, breathing problems, asthma, or even death.
Here are some interesting facts about allergies that you need to know:
- Food allergies share the same symptoms of asthma and other inflammatory conditions like allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and eczema. This kind of allergy can also cause diarrhea and vomiting.
- Allergies affect more than one billion people worldwide. It is considered an epidemic that continues to expand and may affect up to four billion people in the 2050s.
- Hay fever or allergic rhinitis may be seasonal or perennial (lasting for a year or more).
- Children with food allergy are two to four times as likely to have other allergies, such as asthma or eczema, compared to children who don’t have food allergies.
- Allergies cannot be treated. However, you can control allergies by keeping the distance from things that trigger it and/or taking proper treatment.
- Allergies can be deadly, in the form of anaphylaxis. The most common triggers for anaphylaxis are medicines, food, and insect bites.
- Children tend to have more food allergies than adults. The most common triggers for food allergies are milk, eggs, nuts, soy, wheat, fish and seafood.
- Eczema, hives, contact dermatitis and skin inflammation are forms of skin allergies. Most skin allergies are triggered by certain plants, cockroaches, dust mites, food, and latex.
- Penicillin is the most common drug allergy trigger. It was established that about 10% of people are allergic to this antibiotic.
- Though milk, egg, wheat and soy allergies often resolve in childhood, some children may still have allergies even after five years old and can be carried into their adulthood.
Allergy Facts | AAFA.org. Aafa.org. https://www.aafa.org/allergy-facts/. Published 2019. Accessed June 10, 2019.
Allergy Facts. ACAAI Public Website. https://acaai.org/news/facts-statistics/allergies. Published 2019. Accessed June 10, 2019.
Facts and Statistics | Food Allergy Research & Education. Foodallergy.org. https://www.foodallergy.org/life-with-food-allergies/food-allergy-101/facts-and-statistics. Published 2019. Accessed June 10, 2019.