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The allergy phenomenon

Allergies, a condition whose commonness is deceptive …

The word allergy describes several reactions that may manifest themselves on different parts of the body: the skin, the eyes, the digestive system and the respiratory tract. The types of symptoms and their intensity vary depending on the place where the allergy presents itself, and on each individual. The symptoms may be slight, such as a runny nose or potentially fatal such as anaphylactic shock.

One of the best known allergic reactions is allergic rhinitis. It is one of the main causes for consultation of a general practitioner or pharmacist. It follows an inflammation of IgE (immunoglobulins) and the release of histamine by the mastocytes.

Allergic rhinitis is not a banal infection and a person suffering from it is three times more at risk of developing asthma. It is therefore essential to get treatment quickly.

In industrialised countries, allergic respiratory diseases (allergy to pollens or mites) are experiencing exponential growth. Currently it is believed that almost 30% of the Western population suffers from the allergic disease.

The traditional treatments prescribed by doctors are aimed at reducing the intensity of the symptoms and at combating the inflammation caused by the allergy, but they are not preventive and only have few beneficial effects in the long term.

The first thing to do in cases of allergy is to remove the allergens, which is not easy if the allergen responsible for the symptoms has not been formally identified. But here are a few tips:

In case of pollen allergy

  • Have your garden tended by someone else; do not mow your own lawn.
  • Do not hang your washing out to dry outside, as the pollens could attach themselves to it.
  • Before you go to bed, have a shower to dislodge the pollens without forgetting to wash your nose.



In case of mite allergy:

  • Regularly air your home (and bedding) and keep the temperature at no more than 18 to 20°C.
  • Remove all carpets and carpeting.
  • Use protective covers against mites for your bedding and equip yourself with synthetic comforters and pillows that are easily washable.
  • Regularly wash your children's soft toys.

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