Allergy in the Indian Household

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Allergy in the Indian Household

Allergy in the Indian Household

 

allergy

Allergy is a disorder of hypersensitivity of our immune system. Allergic reactions are caused by abnormal reaction of our immune system to normally harmless substances, present in the environment. The offending substance is called allergen.

Allergic diseases have been on the rise in India over the last few decades. It has been reported that approximately 20 to 30 % of total population, that is about 1 in 5 individuals suffers from at least one type of allergic diseases. Allergic diseases usually include asthma, rhinitis, drug,food,dust, insect allergies, eczema, urticaria and severe diseases like angioedema and anaphylaxis.

Research studies conducted to estimate the prevalence of asthma in children have reported around 7.2 +5.4 % rate of childhood asthma in India. Exposure to active/passive smoking, advancing age, environmental tobacco and dust exposure and asthma in parents/ first degree relatives is associated with increased odds of asthma.

Allergic rhinitis is another common allergic disease which is often neglected by both patients and doctors. Allergic rhinitis manifesting in form of “recurrent cold”, coryza, seasonal runny nose, and nasal blockage and sinusitis symptoms is reported in about 3.5 % of population in India. The condition is extremely common in children with reports of incidence as high as 26.1% in school children.

PREVENTION OF ALLERGIES ( WHO GUIDELINES)

  • Avoid smoking and exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke(ETS), during pregnancy and early childhood.
  • Tobacco smoking should not be allowed at Workplaces
  • Avoid damp housing Conditions and reduce indoor air pollutants
  • Breast feed exclusively for 6 months( increases baby’s immunity)
  • Reduce exposures to inhalant allergens in young Children at high risk (dust mites, cockroaches, furred pets)
  • Treat allergic problems and rhinitis to reduce risk of asthma development
  • Patients with allergic asthma,rhinitis,conjunctivitis and skin diseases should avoid exposure to indoor allergens like dust mites, cockroaches,animal dander.Bed covers are extremely useful for allergic patients sensitized to mites.
  • Wash beddings regularly (every 1-2 weeks)at 55-60 deg celcius temperature if possible to kill mites.
  • Reduce indoor dampness and use vacuum cleaning/damp dusters
  • Reduce wall to wall carpets/curtains and fabric covered seatings(vinyl/leather) in bedrooms
  • Remove soft toys from bedroom and do not allow pets in bedroom
  • Eradicate cockroaches
  • Keep windows closed at peak pollen times

 

 

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