Allergy is a term used to describe a range of reactions that occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to a substance. These substances are known as allergens and they include things like dust, pollen, pet dander and certain foods.
Allergies are relatively common and affect people of all ages. According to the World Allergy Organisation, it is estimated that up to 30 per cent of the world’s population suffers from some form of allergy.
A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2015 found that the prevalence of allergies in Lagos alone was 5.6 percent and Nigeria as a whole was 11.8 per cent, which is higher than the global average of 3-4 per cent.
While allergies can be annoying and uncomfortable, they are usually not serious. However, in some cases, they can be life-threatening. This is known as anaphylaxis, and can occur when the body goes into shock as a result of the immune system overreacting.
If you suspect that you or your child has an allergy, it is necessary to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. With the right management, allergies can be controlled and people can live normal, healthy lives.
What causes allergies in children?
There are different things that can cause allergies in children. Some children are allergic to certain foods, while others are allergic to environmental factors such as dust or pollen. Others may be allergic to certain medications or chemicals.
According to a recent study, allergy is a growing problem in children living in Nigeria. The research, which was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that the rate of allergy in Nigerian children is increasing at an alarming rate.
The study was conducted by Dr Adebola Adebiyi, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Ibadan and her team of researchers. They surveyed 2,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18 living in Ibadan, Lagos, and Abuja. The results of the survey showed that the rate of allergy in Nigerian children is now 3.5 times higher than it was 10 years ago.
The most common allergies among Nigerian children are respiratory allergies, such as asthma and hay fever. However, the study also found that food allergies, such as peanut allergy, are becoming more common.
The exact cause of the increase in allergy rates is not known, but there are several theories. One theory puts the blame on increased exposure to pollution in Nigeria’s cities; while air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of allergies and asthma, and Nigeria’s cities are some of the most polluted in the world.
Another theory suggests that the rise in allergies is due to changes in diet. Processed foods, which are becoming more common in Nigeria, have been linked to an increased risk of allergies.
Whatever the cause, it is clear that more research is needed to understand why allergies are on the rise in Nigeria. This research is important not only for the health of Nigerian children, but also for the development of effective treatments and prevention strategies.
Common symptoms of allergies are:
Allergies can cause a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. The most common symptoms of allergies in children include:
• Skin rash
• Shortness of breath
• Runny nose
• Watery, red, or swollen eyes
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is necessary you see a doctor.
How are allergies treated?
A child’s immune system is constantly developing and changing. As a result, a child may be more likely to develop allergies than an adult. According to The American College of
Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies in children are often treated with a combination of avoidance of triggers, immunotherapy and medication.
“Medication is the most common treatment for allergies, and can be used to relieve symptoms or prevent them from occurring. The most common medications for allergies are
antihistamines, which can be taken orally or topically. If symptoms are severe, corticosteroids may be prescribed.
These medications can be taken orally, by injection, or in the form of an inhaler.
“Avoidance of triggers is another important treatment for allergies. This means identifying what causes the allergic reaction and then avoiding exposure to that trigger. Common
triggers include dust, pollen, and certain foods. If avoidance is not possible, then measures can be taken to reduce exposure, such as using an air purifier or wearing a mask when
“Immunotherapy is another treatment option for allergies, and involves gradually increasing exposure to the allergen in order to build up immunity. This can be done through shots or oral tablets, and is usually only recommended for severe allergies,” the organization stated.
Allergy can be a difficult and frustrating condition to deal with, but with the right treatment they can be managed effectively.