It’s time to take allergies seriously

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    An English study shows that the impact of allergies is often minimized by the general public. A lack of attention that has an impact on the mental health of people with allergies.

    More than a billion people worldwide suffer from allergies today, according to the biopharmaceutical laboratory Stallergenes Greer

    Allergies are caused by an overactive immune response to substances such as food, mold, pollen or dust. While most people can experience mild to moderate allergy symptoms, some can experience severe and life-threatening reactions. In addition to the physical symptoms, allergies can also affect a person’s emotional well-being.

    On April 25, 2022, an investigation by AllergyUKa UK non-profit, found that negative perceptions of allergies affected the mental health of allergy sufferers and their caregivers.

    4 disturbing results about the perception of allergies

    The study was conducted among 2,937 allergic people and 1,085 non-allergic people. Researchers found that 60% of respondents said they had allergies and 79% knew someone with an allergy.

    The study revealed 4 disturbing results in the field of mental health:

    • 53% of people with allergies regularly avoid certain social situations because of their allergy;
    • 52% regularly feel they have to downplay their allergies for fear of judgment from family, friends or employers. This attitude leads to feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression;
    • Two in five parents said their child was bullied or bullied because of their allergies, leading to feelings of isolation. 40% of them associated the word “insulation” their child’s allergy;
    • 54% of parents admitted that they felt very or extremely anxious at the thought of their child having an allergic reaction to a cat meal.

    Neglect of allergy sufferers

    More than a third of respondents said that allergy sufferers exaggerate the severity of their allergies and lie about it to avoid food. For many, allergies, such as hay fever, are a minor, seasonal problem.

    The study thus emphasized the minimization of the psychological consequences of allergies by the general public.

    This research highlighted the importance of raising public awareness about the impact of allergies on mental health. AllergyUK wants to give allergies the place it deserves, which is simply reflected in her new campaign: “It’s time the UK took allergy seriously”

    Natasha Coates, disabled gymnast and winner of 22 British titles, is also trying to raise awareness about the psychological impact of allergies. She herself has suffered from various allergies since birth, says: “It’s hard to imagine the sense of fear and isolation you can feel when living with a severe or life-threatening allergy. Misunderstanding and underestimating allergies can make everyday activities very stressful (whether it’s eating out). , spending time with friends or even shopping), and can often lead to feelings of loneliness”

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    Towards an allergic world?

    “An allergy-free life is now the exception, not the rule”explains Carla Jones, CEO ofAllergyUK† The association provides assistance to allergy sufferers and educational resources for healthcare professionals about the diagnosis and treatment of allergies. She also lobbies politicians and policymakers to improve care for people with allergies.

    According to Stallergenes Greer, the number of allergies has been continuously increasing for 60 years, with a higher incidence in children. By 2050, one in two people in the world will suffer from allergies.

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