Respiratory allergies, by 2030 40% of Italians will have them all year round

Respiratory allergies, by 2030 40% of Italians will have them all year round

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Spring allergies are back, respiratory allergies that torment millions of Italians and which go hand in hand with the shoulder seasons. But can we still talk about mid-seasons? As temperatures rise, year after year it is increasingly difficult to define when one season begins and another ends, especially when spring approaches. A season appreciated by many and many, but this is not the case for everyone.

“Spring is also associated with the arrival of respiratory allergies and the discomfort they bring with them, and the 25% of the world population who suffer from them during what has now become a very long period is well aware of this”, underlines the professor Giorgio Walter CanonicaGeneral executive manager Siaaic (Italian Society of Allergology, Asthma and Clinical Immunology and Senior consultant Humanitas Milan who with Assosalutethe National Self-Medication Drugs Association which is part of Federchimica, addressed this and other aspects related to the topic of respiratory allergies.
From ongoing climate changes to good habits and the responsible use of self-medication drugs, here are all the tips to better manage symptoms and minimize the impact of allergies on daily life.

We become increasingly allergic

Allergic rhinitis, although not a new phenomenon, has worsened in recent years, especially among young people and children of pediatric age, but not only: “In recent years, studies have begun to emerge on the onset and spread of allergies also after the age of seventy”, explains Canonica. And the causes of the increased incidence of respiratory allergies are different. Canonica explains to her: “Since the end of the pandemic there has been an explosion of respiratory allergies, thanks to the reduced use of the mask, which for a long time had a protective effect from the inhalation of pollen, allergens, viruses and pollutants”. The increase in allergies will have a significant impact on the health and quality of life of many people: “According to projections – reveals the expert – between 35% and 40% of the Italian population will suffer from allergic rhinitis by 2030”.

How much does climate change affect?

Not only has the pandemic had a significant impact on our health and well-being, but climate change and pollution are also emerging as growing threats, although they still require much analysis to assess their impact on respiratory allergies. “We must face the next season with fingers crossed, underlines Canonica -. If the trend continues to be the same, also thanks to the levels of pollution present in the air, we must certainly expect a very impactful spring for those who are allergic”.

The effects of climate change, in particular the increase in temperature, influence the pollination season, which, compared to the past, is longer: “Those allergic to Parietaria, in fact, will have to deal with allergies from February to November, not it is therefore more of a seasonal but perennial condition – continues the expert -. Climate change, which is the cause, has led to an increase in the number of pollen, both in quantity and in the duration of the phenomenon. we must add the damage to the respiratory mucosa caused by environmental pollution, which facilitates the penetration of allergens and stimulates the allergic response. The more pollution increases, the more important the damage to the mucosa becomes, thus contributing to strengthening the anomalous response that causes the allergy symptoms”.

Five tips to follow

So how can you protect yourself from respiratory allergies? There are five things to keep in mind.

1- Protection from exposure to allergens, pollens and pollutants, for example through the use of a mask, is always recommended.
2 – Pay attention to the weather. Meteorological phenomena such as thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, resulting in electrical discharges that can break pollen, can worsen the allergic condition. It is therefore better to avoid walks in the presence of these events.
3 – Preventive drug treatment: you need to be aware of the warning signs. Self-medication drugs, marked by the smiling red dot on the package, can be used as soon as the first symptoms appear. Among these we recommend antihistamine and anti-allergic drugs available as nasal sprays, eye drops and tablets. On the latter we recommend the latest generation ones, which are always absolutely safe and allow you to continue your daily activities with peace of mind. Today there are also combinations of nasal steroids with antihistamines which have certainly changed the therapeutic strategy of allergic rhinitis.
4 – Correct diagnosis: for an initial diagnosis, a consultation with your general practitioner is advisable. If the pathology is attributable to an allergic phenomenon, to identify the cause it is always better to rely on the allergist who will then define the most suitable pharmacological therapy or, in the case of serious situations, direct you towards specific immunotherapy.
5 – Cleaning the rooms: at home it is essential to pay attention to dust mites and pet dander. For the former, it is advisable to use anti-mite covers for mattresses and pillows, as these represent the main source of mites. For animals, it is best to wash them once a week in order to remove as much allergens from their fur as possible and keep them away from sofas and upholstered furniture, which can retain allergens.

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