Allergies are common and can be chronic, with symptoms that range from mild to miserable to life-threatening.2 Allergic reactions start in the body’s immune system. The body reacts to an otherwise harmless substance – an allergen – as if it is an invader.2
Common allergy triggers include pollen, house dust mites, mold, grass and ragweed, just to name a few. Exposure can cause symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes1 that can worsen over time if not treated appropriately. Allergic rhinitis, or “hay fever,” symptoms, such as these, can be seasonal or occur throughout the year.1
Globally, more than 400 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis, which is widely underdiagnosed and undertreated.3 However, there are several treatment options, including symptom suppressing medicines and allergy immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of allergy and can offer long-lasting improvement by reprogramming the immune system to better cope with exposure to specific allergens.
Who is at risk?
Worldwide industrialization and lifestyle changes have had a major impact on the development of respiratory allergies.
Research shows that people develop allergy as a result of both genetic and environmental factors and, while it is common for allergy to run in families, it is also possible for someone to develop a respiratory allergy even without a previous family history of the disease.
Allergic diseases become more severe over time
Allergies can develop at any age, but they are most common in childhood and adolescence and can become more severe over time. Clinical evidence also suggests that if someone reacts to one allergen, they are more likely to develop other allergies in the future.
1 Allergy Facts. American College of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Updated January 2018. Available at: https://acaai.org/news/facts-statistics/allergies. Accessed September 2019.
2 Allergies. American College of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies. Accessed September 2019.
3 In-depth review of allergic rhinitis. World Allergy Organization. Updated June 2015. Available at: https://www.worldallergy.org/education-and-programs/education/allergic-disease-resource-center/professionals/in-depth-review-of-allergic-rhinitis. Accessed September 5, 2019.