Common triggers of respiratory allergic disease include pollens, house dust mites, moulds and animal dander. Exposure can lead to a range of symptoms, including allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the upper airways), conjunctivitis (itchy, watery eyes), and allergic asthma (inflammation of the lower airways).
These symptoms can worsen over time if not treated appropriately, and allergic rhinitis is considered to be one of the major risk factors in the development of asthma.
Nearly half of all allergy sufferers are children
The prevalence of respiratory allergic disease has increased over recent decades and is rising in both developed and developing countries. Globally, an estimated 400-500 million people are affected by allergic rhinitis and 40% of these are children.
It is estimated that 10-20% of allergic rhinitis sufferers have symptoms which are not well controlled despite the use of symptom-relieving medication and that less than one in ten of these receives allergy immunotherapy treatment.
Millions of work days lost
For many people, respiratory allergic disease has a significant impact on their quality of life, causing sleepless nights, shortness of breath and resulting in millions of lost school and work days.
However, there are several treatment options, including symptom suppressing medicines and allergy immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of allergy and allergic asthma and can offer long-lasting improvement by reprogramming the immune system to better cope with exposure to specific allergens.