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    Chronic Conditions
    1234 · 20 min read

    A Guide to Allergy Awareness Week

    In this guide, we will explore allergy awareness week. We will answer questions about this important awareness week, including what it is, when it is, who it is organised by, the themes of the week, and how you can take part in it. As well as providing a guide to allergy awareness week, we will also provide answers to a number of frequently asked questions regarding allergies as a whole. Allergies are a very prominent issue in the United Kingdom, yet, as highlighted by Allergy Awareness Week, not everyone will discuss their allergies, or seek help, and will instead suffer in relative silence. At UK Meds, we have a number of different products you can buy online that are perfect if you suffer from allergies. 

    What is Allergy Awareness Week?

    Allergy Awareness Week is an important platform for spotlighting allergies and the challenges that people who suffer from allergies face. According to Twinkl, allergy awareness week is an opportunity to deepen the understanding of allergies and their seriousness. The event isn’t just about raising awareness, it is about creating support networks for people who are struggling with allergies by shining a light on organisations and charities such as Allergy UK

    When is Allergy Awareness Week?

    According to Twinkl, Allergy Awareness Week 2024 is scheduled to run from the 22nd of April to the 28th of April. During this time, various fundraising events are held, and donations will be accepted from people looking to make a difference. It's an important period for raising funds and awareness to support individuals affected by allergies.

    Who organises Allergy Awareness Week?

    Allergy Awareness Week was created by Allergy UK, according to National College. This is a leading charity that is dedicated to providing assistance to people struggling with allergies in the United Kingdom.

    What is the theme for Allergy Awareness Week?

    In 2024, the theme of Allergy Awareness Week in the UK is centred around childhood food allergies, with an emphasis on guiding parents through the weaning journey for babies with food allergies. This focus aims to provide crucial support and information to parents navigating the complexities of introducing solid foods to their little ones who may have allergies, ensuring a safe and informed journey for both parent and child. At UK Meds, you can purchase a yorktest junior food intolerance test for children that can pinpoint specific allergens your child may react to.

    How can I take part in Allergy Awareness Week?

    To actively participate in Allergy Awareness Week UK, there are several ways you can get involved according to Twinkl:

    Educate

    Take the opportunity to educate yourself and others about allergies. Whether you're a teacher, parent, or community member, spreading awareness starts with understanding. Research and discuss the basics of allergies, their symptoms, and management strategies with your students or peers.

    Join Awareness Campaigns

    Look out for local organisations or charities running awareness campaigns during Allergy Awareness Week. Get in touch and offer your support by joining their initiatives to raise awareness about allergies in your community.

    Fundraising

    Donating to an organisation that supports individuals with allergies is a meaningful way to contribute. Consider organising a fundraising event, such as an allergy-aware bake sale, where you can showcase allergy-free recipes and alternatives, ensuring everyone can enjoy the treats while supporting a worthy cause.

    Lady holding tissue to her nose because she has hay fever

    How prominent are allergies in the UK?

    Allergies are very common in the United Kingdom. According to data provided by the NHS, it is thought that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience allergies at some point in their lives. Allergies are particularly common in children. Some allergies may diminish as someone ages, however, some persist into adulthood. On the other hand, some allergies may not show up until you are older. 

    How do you get tested for allergies?

    If you believe you may be suffering from an allergy there are a number of things you can do. To discover more about a suspected allergy from your home, you may wish to use a test, such as the yorktest Food and Envrionvmental Allergy Test. This test tests for the IgE antibody which is an indicator of allergies. It can discover potential food allergies (such as nuts, wheat, fruits and more) and environmetal allergies (such as tree pollen, plant pollen, pet/animal hair, and more). The test involves a simple finger prick which is then sent back to yorktest. You will receive the results of your test within 7 days.

    How many adults in the UK suffer from allergies?

    In 2023, the MP for Dagenham & Rainham Jon Cruddas put forward to parliament that the government should recognise Allergy Awareness Week. In his address to parliament, he stated that 44% of adults in the UK have some form of allergy. Based on data provided by the Office for National Statistics there are approximately 67 million people in the UK. Of this 67 million, it is thought around 45 million are adults. When looking at the percentage provided by Jon Cruddas, it can be estimated around 19 million of these adults will have an allergy.

    How many children in the UK suffer from allergies?

    In the UK, around 50% of children are estimated to suffer from one or more allergic disorders, according to Labour MP for Dagenham & Rainham Jon Cruddas. This percentage underscores the prevalence of allergies among children in the UK. Allergic conditions in children can range from food allergies to hay fever and asthma, among others. Based on the previous stats about adults, it is thought that around 11 million children in the UK will have an allergy.

    What are all of the different types of allergies?

    Allergies can manifest in various forms and can be triggered by a range of substances. Here are the most common types of allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:

    Drug Allergies

    Allergies to drugs are relatively rare, with most drug reactions being side effects rather than allergic reactions. However, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to medications, which can be diagnosed based on symptoms and sometimes confirmed through skin testing.

    Food Allergies

    Allergic reactions to foods can be categorised into IgE-mediated allergies, non-IgE-mediated allergies, and food intolerances. These reactions can range from mild to severe and may involve symptoms such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or gastrointestinal distress.

    Insect Sting Allergies

    Allergic reactions to stinging insects like bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants can cause significant symptoms, ranging from localised swelling and pain to severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis.

    Allergies to Non-Stinging Insects

    Certain non-stinging insects like cockroaches and dust mites can also trigger allergic reactions, often manifesting as year-round allergy symptoms and asthma.

    Latex Allergy

    Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to natural rubber latex found in products like gloves, balloons, and condoms. Latex allergy can pose serious health risks and requires avoidance of latex-containing products.

    Mould Allergy

    Mould and mildew, which are types of fungi, can trigger allergic reactions, particularly in environments where they proliferate, both indoors and outdoors.

    Pet Allergies

    Allergies to pets with fur are common, causing symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and respiratory issues. Contrary to popular belief, there are no completely hypoallergenic breeds of dogs or cats.

    Pollen Allergy

    Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds is a common trigger for seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, particularly during certain times of the year when pollen levels are high.

    Are allergies more common in elderly people?

    While allergies are commonly associated with younger age groups, research suggests that they can also manifest or persist in elderly individuals. Factors such as environmental pollution and the ageing of the paediatric population born several decades ago contribute to the increasing prevalence of allergic diseases among older adults (Ventura et al, 2017). Additionally, the presentation of allergic diseases in older individuals may be complicated by the presence of other age-related health conditions that mimic allergic symptoms, leading to a broader range of diagnoses in this population (De Martinis et al, 2017). 

    Are allergies more common in men or women?

    Research findings suggest that allergies may be more common in women than in men. A meta-analysis of 591 studies found that approximately 65% of adults with allergies were women (Nordqvist, 2011). However, it's important to note that the prevalence of allergies can vary depending on factors such as age, geographical location, and the specific type of allergy being considered. 

    How has allergy research helped people in the UK?

    Allergy research has made significant strides in improving the lives of people in the UK in several ways. In 2022, Allergy UK, the organisation behind Allergy Awareness Week, published an impact report that regards their continuous work. Some of the main ways that allergy research by Allergy UK and other organisations have helped people in the UK include:

    • Improvements in Diagnosis and Management

    • Development of Allergy Treatments

    • Public Awareness and Education

    • Improvements to Policies and Guidelines

    • Research Prevention Strategies

    Sources

    Related Products

    preview
    From £9.99
    • Antihistamine medication to treat hay fever
    • Relieves runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing
    • Offers effective relief
    preview
    From £89.99
    • For use in emergencies
    • Acts quickly to treat allergic reactions
    • Easy to administer

    Related Products

    preview
    From £9.99
    • Antihistamine medication to treat hay fever
    • Relieves runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing
    • Offers effective relief
    preview
    From £89.99
    • For use in emergencies
    • Acts quickly to treat allergic reactions
    • Easy to administer

    Blog author

    Scott Weaver

    Scott is an experienced and professional content writer who works exclusively for UK Meds.

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