Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Leading the battle this week, Allergy UK aims to highlight the struggles that allergy sufferers face on a daily basis. Allergy Awareness Week runs from the 20th to the 26th of April and it is a campaign designed to get people talking about allergy.
Suffering from an allergy can be frustrating, irritating and inconvenient. Added to this, many allergy sufferers have to battle through conflicting evidence and floored advice. In order to clear up a mass of misinformation, we’re revealing the truth about some of the most common allergy myths:
1. Children outgrow allergies
Research has found that young children are ten times more likely to suffer from food allergies than adults. It is known that as we get older our internal system develops and becomes stronger. In turn, we are able to effectively block the absorption of certain ingredients in common foods that trigger allergies. Often, children who are allergic to eggs, milk and wheat, outgrow their allergies by the time they become adults. However, some children who outgrown a certain allergy may develop a new allergy in its place.
2. If you didn’t have allergies as a child, you won’t as an adult
Many allergies begin in childhood and it is often thought that once you have made it to adulthood without any allergy, you cannot develop one. However, research has found that you can, in fact, develop allergies once you are an adult too. Allergies can occur as you become older if you have changed your environment or are exposed to new allergens that you have not been in contact with before. In addition, it is also possible for you to overcome a specific allergy as a child and develop symptoms again as an adult.
3. Natural foods are non-allergenic
It is a myth that by limiting your diet to natural or organic foods, you will avoid food allergies. In fact, some of the most common food allergies stem from natural food sources. Unprocessed foods, such as cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, wheat, fish and shellfish account for a large percentage of allergic reactions. Allergies that are caused by natural foods can vary in severity; from mild symptoms (tingling and itching) to life-threatening reactions (breathing difficulties and a rapid heartbeat), they can develop in seconds or minutes.
4. Mold allergies only occur indoors
You may have been led to believe that mold allergies predominantly develop in damp and unventilated indoor spaces. However, mold can be found almost anywhere. Many believe that mold allergies develop indoors, as spores are visible. However, mold can be found almost everywhere. It grows in soil, rotting woods and fallen leaves in winter months. You can also experience allergic reactions to mold in the summer, as spores grown on plants when humidity is high.
5. People who are allergic to pets are allergic to animal fur
It is thought that 10 to 15 percent of the population suffer from pet allergies. However, many pet allergy sufferers believe that it is the animals’ fur that causes irritation. In fact, the allergen is a certain protein produced by the animal. This can be found in the skin, urine and saliva. As you stroke, groom or play with your pet, microscopic flakes of skin float into the air and it is these particles that cause allergic reactions.