Allergic or asthmatic? Ask your questions to doctors

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 from 13:00 to 19:00on occasion 16th French Allergy Day, allergists will answer your questions for free in a chat created by the Asthma and Allergy Association. Objective: To raise awareness of the largely underestimated impact of allergies on daily life. Ifop survey conducted in February 2022 1003 people representative of the population shows that 1/3 of the French, i.e. Approximately 21 million people are directly concerned about whether they themselves or someone from their allergic relatives is sick. EIn 20 years, the number of people suffering from allergies has doubled, and according to WHO estimates, by 2050, 50% of the world’s population will suffer from at least one allergic disease! Today, one in three people born after 1980 suffers from allergies.

Find a chat on the Asthma and Allergy Association website.

14% of French think it’s a mild illness

Despite its prevalence, allergies and their consequences for quality of life remain poorly understood. According to this Ifop survey, only 28% of French people admit that it is a daily handicap, while 14% are also convinced that it is a mild illness. However, allergies are a disease that can become very debilitating if not taken care of (see box below). Some of the mechanisms of allergies also remain poorly understood by the public: for example, according to this survey, only 32% of the French believe that environmental pollution can exacerbate respiratory allergies.

Allergies, specific and disabling consequences in everyday life

An allergy is an increased sensitivity of the body to substances called allergens that are generally harmless and present in the environment. Respiratory allergies are not limited to the occasional discomfort associated with pollen, but result from contact with a wide variety of substances (mites, mold, animals, etc.) and can have serious consequences in everyday life. According to a study, 41% of patients with allergic rhinitis refuse social, sports, leisure and professional activities due to allergies. “Allergy’s most disabling impact on daily life and quality of life is a quantifiable reality for those who suffer: absenteeism from school and work is significantly higher in allergy sufferers, sleep disturbance in many allergy sufferers with real consequences of stress and fatigue, difficulty playing . sports, impact on social life, etc. We know that allergies destroy lives! So we must act! On the part of healthcare professionals and government agencies, this means informing, raising awareness and reminding that allergies are never trivial. Allergy means getting your allergies under control as soon as possible by contacting a specialist who can diagnose the source of the problem and prescribe the right treatment, Explain Dorian Sheriou, Vice President, Asthma and Allergy Patients Association. Asthma, which is very often associated with allergies, leads to 230,000 days of hospitalization per year.

Diagnosis is too late

The French also underestimate the therapeutic wandering of allergies. Between the appearance of the first allergic symptoms and an appeal to an allergist, an average of seven years pass. By treating an allergy as quickly as possible, you control its impact on daily life or prevent allergic rhinitis from developing into asthma, for example. Once the diagnosis is made across tests to identify the allergens in question, effective treatments, starting with eviction and symptomatic treatment, exist and can significantly improve the quality of life of patients. Desensitization, or allergen immunotherapy, remains the only treatment that can address the cause of the allergy.

Major respiratory allergens. Credits: Asthma and Allergy Association

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