A health-focused week, Allergy Awareness Week was created by Allergy UK and is observed annually in a week determined by the charity. This year, it takes place from April 22 to April 26. This week is all about raising awareness about allergies and offering help and support to those living with allergic conditions.
History of Allergy Awareness Week
Allergies are very much real and affect more people than we may think. It might be minute as a minor rash or as severe as a complete immune system shutdown, but either way, allergies are an essential health topic and should be treated as such. If you’ve heard the saying ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison,’ then you may already understand the concept of allergies. There are several things we encounter daily without reaction that could stir up allergies in other people. It could be the water we drink, the food we eat, or even the stuffed animals we have lying around. It boils down to the difference in our D.N.A. and genetic makeup.
Simply put, allergies are conditions triggered by a sensitivity of the immune system to substances in the environment that would ordinarily be considered harmless. Often, people suffering from allergic conditions do not realize it until they experience their first reaction. These reactions come with symptoms like rashes, red eyes, shortness of breath, and even swelling. Allergies develop due to genetic makeup (hereditary factors) and environmental conditions. Allergic reactions are caused by the binding of the immune system’s antibodies to the allergen and then to a receptor, which triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals.
The term ‘allergy’ appeared in the 1900s and was coined from the Greek words ‘allos’ (other) and ‘ergon’ (work). Since then, several classifications and diagnostic methods have been applied to distinguish various allergies. Allergies are common among over 50% of the worldwide population living with an allergy.
Allergy UK, a British charity, established Allergy Awareness Week. It focuses on raising awareness for children and adults living with allergies, raising funds, and offering resources to support allergy victims.
Allergy Awareness Week timeline
Allergy is introduced as a concept by a Viennese pediatrician called Clemens von Pirquet.
The antibody, immunoglobulin E, is discovered simultaneously by two independent groups, leading to a major breakthrough in allergy research.
The radioallergosorbent test or RAST method invented by Pharmacia Diagnostics AB, Sweden, becomes the first diagnostic method for allergies.
Allergy UK is founded as the British Allergy Foundation.
Allergy Awareness Week FAQs
What is the theme for the 2022 Allergy Awareness Week?
The theme is ‘Childhood Food Allergy.’ This theme was coined to focus on parents of babies with food allergies, and the weaning process of such allergies.
Is there an Allergy Awareness Day?
There is no Allergy Awareness Day for now. There are, however, several weeks focused on raising awareness about allergies and their sufferers, such as Allergy Awareness Week, World Allergy Week, and Food Allergy Awareness Week.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is sometimes called allergic rhinitis and is an allergic condition caused by a reaction to a variety of outdoor or indoor allergens such as dust, pollen, fur, and other microorganisms. Its symptoms are itchy watery eyes, sneezing, and sometimes skin rashes or redness of the skin. It is a seasonal allergy that usually occurs during spring, summer, or early fall.
How to Observe Allergy Awareness Week
Make a donation
Allergy UK is a charity organization that requires donations to produce resources and continue research. Today, you can make a change by contributing to the cause. Visit their site to learn how you can donate to support allergy awareness.
Join a fundraising event
There are several fundraising events organized by Allergy UK across the year, especially during this week. Challenge yourself and others by participating in running, cycling, or swimming events. These events help raise funds for the charity and go a long way in fighting for the cause.
Become a volunteer
Another way you can participate in Allergy Awareness Week is by offering your talents, helping hands, or services as a volunteer. Allergy UK is continually seeking individuals willing to join the organization as volunteers. This gives you hands-on experience in dealing with individuals affected by allergies.
5 Important Facts About Allergies
Asthma is one of them
Asthma is a medical condition caused by allergic reactions that affect the respiratory system.
They can be severe
According to studies, allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.
They are common in children
Allergies are one of the most common health issues that affect children.
They can be seasonal
Hay fever is a seasonal form of allergic rhinitis that often occurs in spring, summer, or early fall.
They are expensive
An estimated $18 billion is spent on allergies each year.
Why Allergy Awareness Week is Important
It raises awareness
Although they are very common, there is hardly any serious form of awareness focused on allergies and their effects on victims and caretakers. This week aims to highlight the concept of allergic reactions, raising awareness about their dire effects and spotlighting those affected by allergies.
It offers supports
Another major benefit of Allergy Awareness Week is providing support to those that deal with allergic conditions. This week highlights bodies like Allergy UK and the funds and resources they use to render a helping hand to allergy victims and caretakers.
It is educative
Allergy Awareness Week not only brings the plight of victims and the families of sufferers to the forefront but educates people on the seriousness of certain allergic reactions. This week stirs up a need for personal research that develops our knowledge on the types of allergies, possible causes, and how to find treatments.
Allergy Awareness Week dates