We use the word allergy frequently in daily life, and sometimes we attribute different meanings. Of course, allergies and the diseases they cause are one of the most common problems of our age. Scientifically speaking, allergy is an abnormal response of our immune system to foreign substances.
Actually, not new diseases. Historically, we know the Roman emperors with horse allergy, those who lost their lives as a result of bee stings in ancient Egypt. However, the emergence of allergy science was only at the beginning of the 20th century. Allergic diseases, which were less common at that time, have become very common in the last 30-40 years. It is estimated that only the number of asthmatic patients in the world is 300 million. Allergies to food proteins are now seen as a public health problem due to their results. Food allergies are the most important cause of severe fatal reactions such as anaphylaxis that start in the first years of life.
Intensive studies are carried out to understand why allergies and related diseases are seen so frequently. Heredity and environmental factors play a very important role in these diseases that develop due to multiple factors. In this context, the “hygiene hypothesis” has been proposed to explain the increase in the frequency of allergic diseases and has been generally accepted by scientific circles.
The responses of our body to the substances it is allergic to or the findings that arise as a result of reactions may differ according to the organ system it affects. Findings can be very mild or severe, such as life-threatening anaphylaxis.
The following symptoms may occur when you encounter foreign substances that we call allergens.
- Runny nose, itching
- Shortness of breath
- Itching and redness of the skin
- Swelling of the face, lips and eyes
- Redness and itching in the eyes.
- Low blood pressure
These complaints may be due to an allergic disease. Diagnosing allergic diseases requires experience. Sometimes, we see that those who think they have an allergic disease are mistaken, receiving unnecessary treatment or restricting their lives due to misdiagnosis. Therefore, it must be evaluated by an allergy and clinical immunologist.