“1 in 3 US adults suffer from allergies”

Seasonal allergies, food allergies, and eczema involved in 1 in 4 children

Seasonal allergies triggered by plant pollen have become the most common type of allergy in adults and children. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

One in three adults and one in four children in the United States has an allergy condition that includes seasonal allergies, food allergies and eczema. This is what the health medicine web magazine ‘Health Day’ reported on the 26th (local time) based on data collected and published by the National Center for Health Statistics under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of 2021, according to this statistical data, which collects data on allergies diagnosed by medical staff, seasonal allergies triggered by plant pollen have become the most common type of allergy in adults and children. About 26% of adults and about 19% of children were diagnosed with seasonal allergies. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes.

In the case of adults, more than 7% of eczema and 6.2% of food allergies were found to have it. Seasonal allergies were more common in white adults, and food allergies were more common in black adults.

Almost 11% of children had eczema, and almost 6% had food allergies. Eczema is more common among children aged 6 to 11, and food allergies are more common among black children.

Experts expressed concern that more allergies are appearing than ever before. Professor Praveen Boudiga from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) explained that climate change could be the cause of the increase in allergies. “With each passing year, we’re seeing drought and high temperatures leading to wildfire-like conditions, and winters are getting colder and longer,” he said. In particular, he pointed out that the problem is the prolonged winter, which makes the skin condition drier and causes eczema.

Peter Rio, professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the United States, said that he treats a huge number of allergy patients, and that this phenomenon started several years ago. “Chemicals and pollutants in the environment can damage the skin, intestines and lung barriers,” he explained. “Once damaged, allergens are very likely to enter our body abnormally and cause allergic reactions.”

Dr Marc Jacobson, an allergy and asthma specialist, advises that if you have seasonal allergies, close the windows and turn on the air conditioner to keep the pollen out of the house. “Although we spend more than a third of our lives in the bedroom, we must always focus on the bedroom,” he said. “If solutions and medication aren’t enough, get an allergy shot.”

Allergy shots administer small amounts of the actual substance that causes an allergic reaction. Then, because it builds up slowly over time, the immune system learns to ignore the allergic reaction rather than overdo it, explains Dr Jacobson.

Fortunately, various allergy shots have been developed to ease patients’ pain, experts say. In the case of eczema, we are starting to see some success in reducing or preventing some of the symptoms, Professor Rio explained. The biggest challenge is food allergy. Some, like peanut allergies, get better with time, but most other food allergies don’t, says Professor Budiga.

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