One Third of the Population Suffers from Allergies

The Condition of Allergies

The condition known as allergies occurs when high pollen or dust counts are the air. The symptoms associated with allergic reaction are similar to a flu-like condition, which includes frequent itching of the nose and roof of mouth, the back of the throat and the eyes. Sneezing is also a frequent symptom, as well as a general stuffiness in the ears, and swollen, red eyes. While, having allergies is a common condition for people, the number of people who have it around the world equals one-third of the total population.

An All-Encompassing Issue

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), more than 50 million people claim to have allergy related diseases, making the condition the sixth leading cause of chronic illness found in the United States. In the developed world, about thirty percent of the total population suffers the effects of allergies. While some of these people may mistake regular colds and flu for the symptoms, the rise of eczema, asthma, hay fever and irritable bowel syndrome are becoming all too common.

Allergy Effects by Region

Throughout the world, various countries report the percentage of their populations that suffer from allergies. Two of the more prominently researched countries, The United States and Europe, show the percentage of their population that suffers from allergies. In the United States, approximately twenty percent of the nation's population suffers from allergy related diseases. More than seventy percent of people who have asthma also suffer from allergies. In Europe, hay fever affects between ten and twenty percent of the population, and eczema develops between ten and twelve percent. However, throughout the developed world, the number of individuals with symptoms of allergies has been shown to have a steady increase over the past twenty to thirty years.

The Reasons of Increase in Allergy Sufferers

Although change in climate and the blooming cycle of plant life are the standard reasons for the increase in allergens, there is no defined answer as to why the increase of allergy affected people has increased so steadily over the past few decades. There are, however, many possible reasons for this up surging. The development of allergic disease largely depends on factors such as genetics and the environment. In addition, allergies tend to run in families, being passed down through the generations. The hereditary predisposition to allergies is called atopy, which is the genetic tendency to develop classic allergic diseases in the first place. The activity for these atopy genes is largely controlled by the effects of the environment. Due to the interest in atopy genes, there is frequent research being carried out in the Western world on genes which may be potential atopy candidates.

Recognizing Potential Factors

While allergies affect such a large percentage of the population at an ever increasing rate, it becomes more important than ever to recognize, manage and avoid such conditions. While there is no "definitive" way to fully avoid allergens, consulting with a doctor over regional allergens is the best prevention for potential flare up.


Photo Credit: parrchristy

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