How the rise in allergies affects everyone

Allergy Awareness Week 2024

The statistics on allergies in the UK make sober reading. Sadly, we’re top of the global allergy pops for all the wrong reasons.

The UK is currently 

  • In the top three for the highest incidence of allergy
  • In the top two for the highest incidence of allergic eczema
  • Joint top for the highest incidence of hay fever

And when over five million individuals require specialist care for their severe allergies, it’s time to realise that allergies are too big to ignore. Because by 2026, it is predicted that allergy will affect at least 1 in 2 of us in Europe.

That’s more strain on a stretched healthcare system that’s already not adequately providing allergy care, more children being born with allergies that parents and schools will need to adapt to and help manage and the quality of life for even more people being put at risk because of allergies. In some cases, we may even be talking lives being put at risk.

The impact of allergies

On NHS Services:

  • 8% of GP appointments relate to allergic conditions.
  • Managing asthma patients – of which 80% will also have hay fever – costs the NHS a staggering £1.1 billion a year. This includes 60,000 hospital admissions and 200,000 bed days each year. Hay fever and its impact as a trigger to asthma, is not something to be sniffed at.
  • In 2014 15% of asthma deaths saw hay fever as a contributing factor.
  • Managing allergies alone costs the NHS £900 million a year.

Personal impact:

  • Allergic eczema is responsible for nearly 25% of patients losing at least 15 working days a year to their condition.
  • People living with food allergies typically have to spend 14% more on their grocery bills than those without food allergies.
  • People living with allergic eczema can spend up to an hour a day just managing their eczema.
  • 42% of parents caring for a child with food allergy, meet the clinical threshold of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their child’s allergies.

These numbers are not just statistics; they represent the lives of our loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Soon, there will be so many of our loved ones, friends and colleagues affected by allergy, that the impact of allergy will even be too big to ignore for those who aren’t directly living with allergic disease.

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