About 20% of the world’s population is affected by allergic rhinitis, about 6% have at least one food allergy, and almost 20% have atopic dermatitis at some point, says Dr. Adriana Tudose, primary allergist and clinical immunologist at ProVita Medical Center – diagnosis and treatment.
What are allergens?
Food. 90% of allergies are caused by cow’s milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, nuts, fish and shellfish.
Environmental factors: chemicals, medicines, cosmetics, animal and insect poisons, latex, but also bacteria, viruses, microbial toxins, insects, pollen, fruits, dust, hair and animal scales, vaccines, etc.
How the allergy manifests itself
The most commonly affected organs are those in the body – the skin and mucous membranes, the respiratory system and the digestive tract. Symptoms can be local (cutaneous, ocular, ENT, pulmonary, digestive) or systemic (headache, fever, vertigo, malaise, hypotension, syncope, cardio-respiratory arrest). “Allergy symptoms vary in complexity, severity and manifestation. In atopic allergies, the effect of exposure to an allergen may be immediate, and mild or severe symptoms, ranging from pruritus, eczema, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, bronchoconstriction, vomiting and diarrhea, and in rare cases, anaphylaxis. The manifestations of atopic disease vary considerably depending on the allergen involved, as well as the age of the allergic person. During childhood, food allergies (especially to eggs and milk) are the most common. After the age of 3, most allergic children tolerate these foods, while allergy to inhalants becomes predominant “, explains Dr. Adriana Tudose.
What to do
In order to treat allergies, we need to identify them. There are three types of allergological tests: skin, serological and hematological. Once the allergen has been identified, the best advice is to avoid it. “Avoidance is the best treatment for allergies. However, when this is not possible, there are medications that can help control the symptoms. Patients with asthma or allergic rhinitis triggered by mites or molds must control the quality of the climate in the house, ventilate often and maintain a low temperature and humidity, “says the doctor.
Tips for those allergic to pollen
In the spring, those allergic to pollen should avoid outdoor activities, especially on sunny days. Cloudy, wet or rainy days are safer. You should know that unpleasant symptoms can also occur when you eat certain uncooked fruits and vegetables, nuts or beans. This is due to a cross-reaction, because pollens contain proteins with a structure similar to those in these foods.