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Different types of allergies


Allergic rhinitis:

Allergic rhinitis is characterised by repeated sneezing, a 'runny nose' and often nasal blockages lasting for several hours, a tickling sensation, an irritation of the eyes with lacrimation, and breathing can become difficult or whistling. The causes of allergic rhinitis are mainly aerial (pollen, mites, and animal hairs).  When it is caused by pollen, we call it seasonal rhinitis or, more commonly, hay fever.

The characteristics of allergic rhinitis are mainly of two types:

  • Seasonal (or perannual) rhinitis which occurs in pollinic season and of course as a reaction to pollen (birch, graminaceous plants etc.).

  • Persistent (or aperiodic) rhinitis often occurs in periods of stress and as a reaction to allergens constantly present in the personal environment. (mites, smoke, dust, odours from chemical products etc.).

The causes of allergic rhinitis are still not completely known but heredity seems to be a relatively important factor. Some people seem to have 'atopic diathesis' or in other words an exaggerated reaction (immuno-allergic response) on contact with allergens that are normally inoffensive.

This 'atopic diathesis' may lead to different reactions such as allergic rhinitis, eczema, asthma, food allergies, etc.

Between 20 and 30% of the world's population is believed to suffer from an allergy to pollens or mites.

Film: rhinite allergique:


Asthma is defined as difficulty breathing when expiring (breathing out). It is a disease of the respiratory system characterised by a more or less serious inflammatory state of the bronchus in which many cells play a major role and in particular mastocytes, acidophils and lymphocytes. It manifests itself in difficult and whistling respiration from a sensation of oppression in the chest and breathlessness.

The causes of asthma are not yet known with certainty. However, again our genetic baggage and environment seem to play a major role.

The main types of asthma:

  • Allergic asthma:

This condition is an abnormal and excessive reaction of the airways to allergens present in the air and is characterised by one or more attacks. It is the most serious form of asthma in the short term, as the degree of reaction can be particularly large and sometimes fatal, with the patient dying of suffocation. It is of paramount importance to quickly treat a severe asthma attack.

  • Chronic asthma:

Generally present since childhood, it can manifest itself in the first years of childhood through repeated asthma attacks or chronic whistling bronchitis.  The inflammation often develops slowly and gradually, and can go unnoticed, particularly because the patient becomes used to the symptoms and to the difficulty in breathing up to the time at which it becomes too invasive. If not treated, this form of asthma generally develops into respiratory insufficiency.

  • Asthma due to effort:

This occurs when making a physical effort that engages the bronchi in conditions that make the work of the bronchi more difficult. The cold and wind favour bronchial inflammation and consequently an attack of asthma due to effort.

Asthma in children must unconditionally be treated through the services of a qualified allergist. Indeed, we suspect that with a large number of asthmatic adults we are faced with a reactivation of childhood asthmas which have not been diagnosed or have been underdiagnosed and neglected.   

Film : Asthme chez l'adulte :



Eczema, also called dermatitis, is a non-contagious inflammation of the skin.  This inflammation affects a large number of patients. The simple forms are able to be treated with local treatments but you need to be very attentive to the reoccurring or acute forms which must unconditionally be treated using an allergological approach.

We generally distinguish two broad types of eczema:

  • Atopic dermatitis:

Atopic eczema is a quite common skin disease (20 to 30% of children) which mainly develops in small children presenting a favourable genetic diathesis. Dermatitis generally appears towards the age of three – four months. It affects the face (cheeks and chin) and when the child grows up, the lesions are often located in the folds (neck, elbows, wrists, back of the knees). The outbreaks begin with a simple itchy redness, then the skin dries out and becomes rough in places, and finally the skin oozes and crusts form. In most cases atopic dermatitis disappears naturally before adolescence.

Film : Eczéma du nourisson :

  • Contact eczema:

Contact eczema, more frequent in adults, is a hypersensitive allergic reaction on contact with an irritating substance (chemical product, certain plants or a metal such as the nickel used in jewellery). It may be allergic or irritative (non-allergic) and can cause either an instant or delayed reaction. The symptoms can range in intensity from a simple redness to ulceration.  The majority of forms of contact eczema are linked to well identified allergens. In Europe, the bank of ICDG (International Contact Dermatitis Group) tests is able to determine the etiology of 80% of the causes of eczema.

Film : Eczéma chez l'adulte : 

IMPORTANT : Never hesitate to consult a dermatologist who will give you the necessary information.

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