Like every year, with Spring comes allergies

Le 17 March 2018

Like every year, with Spring comes allergies. There are different types of allergies: respiratory, food or skin. In this article, we are primarily interested in respiratory allergies that are linked to substances that you can touch or breath in, provoking skin or respiratory reactions (eczema, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, etc.)  Mites are the main cause of these reactions. In spring we are mainly concerned about pollen, which makes its appearance as flowers begin to bloom. Unfortunately, in many cities, pollution can also significantly aggravate these reactions. The number of people suffering from allergies has doubled in the last 15 years in Western countries.  Allergies are the fourth leading cause of chronic illnesses in the world, and in France, around 25% of the population is affected. This percentage could reach 50% between now and 2020. (WHO)

For sensitive patients, some allergies can trigger asthma attacks. An asthma attack can lower a person’s oxygen saturation levels to less than 90 %. Oxygen saturation is the amount of oxygen that is carried in the arteries. Normal oxygen saturation levels are between 98% and 100%, meaning that each red blood cell is made up of 98% to 100% oxygen. 

The tool used to measure this level is the pulse oximeter, a small sensor placed at the end of one of the patient’s fingers. Attention: although oxygen levels drop during an asthma attack, measuring them does not necessarily mean that you can detect one before it happens! 

Whatever the type of allergy, it is important and useful to consult a doctor to determine the allergen at the root of the cause and to take measures to “evict” the allergens in question or to seek relevant advice.

 

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