Allergies are considered one of the most common medical conditions worldwide. While common, it should still be taken care of, as it can cause severe complications.
In the Philippines, the prevalence of allergies has significantly increased over the past decade among Filipinos. Allergy experts have become rather alarmed that there are several cases of allergies that have remained undetected.
Seasonal or Perennial Allergies
Allergies can be seasonal or perennial. Perennial allergies are year-round allergies. A seasonal allergy, on the other hand, means that the condition often worsens during certain times of the year. In the Philippines, the wet season brings about several allergic conditions among Filipinos.
An allergy is a reaction of a person’s immune system to an allergen. Allergens come in various forms like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, food, medicines, and extreme weather conditions. This health condition can manifest in various ways. In some cases, the health care provider may attribute the condition as something else other than allergy.
In normal scenarios, the immune system fights the germs and bacteria. In allergic reactions, the body responds to a false alarm which means that it is activated even without the presence of germs and bacteria. Basically, if you come in contact with an allergen, your immune system will consider it dangerous and will release a chemical known as histamine to counteract the allergen.
Allergic reactions in the Philippine cause a variety of symptoms like sneezing, itching, runny nose, rashes, asthma, or swelling. The condition can range from minor to severe. It can worsen as the seasons change from dry to wet or vice versa. It is estimated that more than 20% of the Philippine population has allergy symptoms. The prevalence indicates that about 21% are children, 26% are adolescents and 36% are adults.
Leading allergy experts in the Philippines have called the attention of medical practitioners emphasizing that they should always consider allergy when they encounter patients suffering from wheezing, sneezing, frequent colds, stomach cramps, redness and itchiness of the eyes, vomiting and diarrhea. The diagnosis of allergy is often missed especially in patients who are frequently suffering from gastrointestinal problems and upper respiratory tract infections. It is important to note that the key factor in the effective management of the condition is early recognition and diagnosis, identification of the triggers or allergens and the prevention of possible complications like superimposed bacterial infections in various parts of the body.
The Filipino community is also called to stay vigilant and observe possible cases of allergic reactions. It is important to be proactive in treating possible allergic conditions. Exposure to allergens like house dust mites, animal dander, pollen, certain medications and food should be avoided as much as possible. Since we are currently entering the wet season in the Philippines, incidence of allergic reactions has significantly increased. Thus, it is best to observe and seek medical consult right away if allergy symptoms start to present themselves so proper treatment plan can be initiated to efficiently manage the condition.