The prevalence of respiratory allergies has increased considerably in recent decades. All of the epidemiological studies carried out at the end of the 1990s, both in Switzerland (SAPALDIA, SCARPOL*) and in Europe (ECRHS *) or internationally (ISAAC*), have demonstrated that the prevalence of allergic diseases (rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, eczema) has almost tripled over the last 30 years. (Sources: SAPALDIA, SCARPOL, ECRHS and ISAAC studies)
In Europe and around the world, between 30 and 40% of the population is affected by allergies. Allergies are now the 4th most common chronic illness worldwide and the WHO estimates that one in two people will have an allergy by 2050.
Domestic allergens (dust mites, pet hair) are among the reasons for this rise. Indeed, changes to our lifestyle (TVs, home theatres, video games, internet, etc.) mean that individuals are increasingly sedentary and spend most of their time at home. This is particularly true for children and seniors.
In addition, changes to the way that we construct our homes (better insulation, widespread use of central heating, extensive use of carpets, smaller ventilation systems to save energy) are favourable to the growth of domestic allergens, particularly dust mites.(Source: Division of Immunology and Allergy, CHUV, Lausanne, via internet - http://www.immunologyresearch.ch/ial-info-pat-mal-allergrespir-acariens-poussiere.html)
According to a new survey carried out by the OpinionWay research company for the ALK lab, dust mite allergies have a very real impact on the daily life of those who are affected. In this large-scale survey involving 4,800 people throughout France, we learn that those who suffer from such allergies regularly experience symptoms that have a debilitating impact on their everyday lives: sneezing for 71% of those surveyed, runny noses (for 65% of respondents), itching sensations (61%) and red and/or puffy eyes (51%). Additionally, allergies to dust mites can be accompanied by difficulties breathing (45% of those surveyed), chronic coughing (36%) and wheezing (30%).
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