Allergies and Beyond
An estimated 41.7% of American adults report having allergies. Approximately 7.3% of adults
and 10.7% of children in the U.S. have a skin allergy known as atopic dermatitis (eczema).
About 25-50% of these atopic dermatitis cases also experience some type of eye complication
as well. How are allergies impacting you?
Allergies: What I Need to Know
Allergies are one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the world. An allergic reaction is produced in the immune system, which protects our bodies from external organisms and substances that can make us sick. For individuals who have allergies, the immune system recognizes an otherwise harmless substance (allergen derived from pollen, animal hair or dander, etc.) as being a threat and reacts by producing what is known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. In a subsequent exposure to that allergen, the allergen attaches to IgE and activates certain cells of the immune system (mast cells) to release substances (e.g. histamine) that cause signs and symptoms of allergy such as itching, redness, swelling and tearing. Inflammation is also initiated, which is the recruitment of other cells of the immune system to the eye and causes additional swelling, redness and inflammation and can prolong the reaction.
Symptoms of Allergy Reaction
Allergy symptoms can widely vary from being bothersome to causing a life-threatening reaction. By understanding these symptoms and what is causing them, your doctor can take the appropriate steps to effectively manage and treat allergies.
Management and Treatment of Allergies
For the millions of sufferers, allergies can significantly impact quality of life. The itching can reduce productivity at work or school and have a direct impact in terms of reduced effectiveness, lost days/time at work or school, and cost of medical appointments. Prompt management and treatment of symptoms is important for reducing the burden felt by allergies. However, despite the numerous treatment options available, many still suffer and remain in need of more effective therapies.