Today, July 8, is World Allergy Day.
The date is a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Allergy Organization (WAO) to alert on the importance of treating allergies, as in some cases allergies can lead to death .
By definition, an allergy is the result of an immune system response to contact with an external substance considered threatening. In these cases, the body develops special antibodies that trigger an inflammatory reaction, which can manifest in different ways and in different areas of the body.
Allergic diseases affect all age groups, from children to the elderly, and are often chronic pathologies that can affect various organs.
According to the Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SPAIC), it is estimated that in Portugal allergies affect around a third of the population. The most common allergies in Portugal are food and respiratory allergies (pollen, dust mites, fungi, animal hair).
Food allergies are manifested by itchy and swollen lips, vomiting, diarrhea, irritated skin and hoarseness.
Respiratory allergies cause sneezing, shortness of breath, runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes, and headaches.
Drug allergies can cause nausea, vomiting, or difficulty breathing.