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RESPIRATORY ALLERGIES
THE BASICS

Respiratory allergies are a malfunction of the immune system, leading the body to overreact to contact with harmless substances that are present in the atmosphere. It manifests itself in inflammation of the nose, eyes and bronchial tubes.

 

An overreaction of the immune system

Young sick woman blows her nose while in bedIn the allergic process, cells in the immune system begin to react disproportionately to a substance – though harmless – that they take to be an enemy. As they would do against a virus, they make antibodies directed specifically against this “allergen”, which will then generate the release of inflammatory molecules, such as histamine, on each exposure.

 

 

Nose, eyes, bronchial tubes: the “victims” of respiratory allergens

Present in the atmosphere, the main respiratory allergens are house dust mites, pollen, animal hair and mould. If inhaled, they cause inflammatory reactions in the nose, eyes, throat and bronchial tubes. The main allergic respiratory conditions are allergic rhinitis and asthma.

 

 

Allergic children

Respiratory allergy, the leading allergy

Respiratory allergies are the most common allergies in Europe. Allergic rhinitis affects 400 to 500 million people worldwide 1-2. In France, it is estimated that up to one in three adults is affected by them!3 .


[1] Bousquet J. Khaltaev N, Cruz AA, Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) 2008 update (in collaboration with the World Health Organization, GA(2)LEN and AllerGen).Allergy. 2008 Apr;63 Suppl 86:8-160.
[2]Pawankar R, Canonica G, Holgate S, Lockey R. WAO White Book on Allergy 2011-2012. In Edition Milwakee, Wisconsin, USA: WAO 2011.
[3] Klossek J-M. Un tiers des adultes ont une rhinite allergique en France – Enquête INSTANT. Presse médicale 2009; 38; 1220-1229