Allergies are a growing health problem affecting nearly 20% of the world's population. Symptoms range from mild to life threatening and can greatly impact quality of life enjoyed by the individual. Increased allergy awareness is vital for the prevention and control of allergic diseases.
Importance of Allergy Education
Allergies are of many types – asthma, eczema, rhinitis, food allergy, autoimmune disorders and occupational allergies to name a few. They have the capacity to affect multiple body organs and individuals of all age groups. Despite high prevalence and intense research, knowledge about allergies among patients and caregivers is still quite low. Evidence based allergy awareness can prevent the spread of misconceptions about the nature, impact, and seriousness of allergic diseases. With proper assistance for understanding, it is possible for patients to improve their quality of life.
Understanding Food Allergies
The incidence of food allergy is rapidly assuming epidemic proportions. The best way to avoid food allergy is to completely avoid allergens but this is easier said than done in the modern age, where an increasing number of people are eating out at restaurants and catered events and careful monitoring of ingredients is not possible. While there is no known cause for this increase and no permanent cure, understanding can help educate people about potential life threating consequences such as anaphylaxis and emergency measures to take when an incident occurs.
For the Food Industry
The emphasis now is on educating and raising food allergy awareness among professional catering staff in the commercial food industry. Understanding diner's specific allergies and careful monitoring of all food supply chain processes to avoid cross contamination is the only way to prevent food allergy incidents breaking out at restaurants and catered events. Staff should be thoroughly trained and ready with an action plan to promptly deal with medical emergencies.
Reliable Sources of Information
For patients and caregivers, the internet is a mine field of information. Everything they need to know about different types of allergies, symptoms, tests, diagnosis, treatment and care is available out there. However, it is very important to access accurate, scientific information in order to derive benefits. There are many organizations involved in disseminating allergy related information and improving patient welfare. Switzerland based European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is one such organization dedicated to this noble cause.
Special Section for Patients
EAACI is an NGO with impeccable credentials – it is associated with more than 50 national allergy societies and thousands of academicians, clinicians and researchers from around the world. The organization understands that the need for comprehensive awareness persists year round and has a special section where patients can access reliable allergy information including recommendations from medical experts, practical advice, patient association information and much more. It provides many useful links and resources that can be used by patients as well as medical professionals.
With ongoing research, hopefully there will be a cure for allergies in future – till then allergy awareness initiatives are the best lines of defense.
Ethan Moore is a well known writer providing informative articles on internet to spread awareness. He has written articles for many categories and now he is writing about Allergy Awareness .