A sharp rise in the numbers of allergy patients has been traced to modern ‘cleanliness’
It may sound crazy at a time when we seem to be under microbiological siege from antibiotic resistant germs, but we may be making ourselves vulnerable by being too clean.
In the past five years admissions to hospital with serious allergic reactions have risen by more than 33%.
That’s the sharpest rise since records began.
The most common triggers of these reactions have been the usual suspects of dust, bacteria, peanuts and fish.
During the financial year 2015/2016, according to figures just released, some 29,544 patients were admitted with symptoms of allergic reaction, including anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylactic admissions alone rose by nearly 20% during the same period, most resulting from insect stings.
Without prior knowledge and the appropriate medication on hand, these attacks could be fatal.
A staggering one in every four adults suffers from allergies of some kind and 50% of children.
While it is true that you can grow out of most allergies, you can also grow into them by developing symptoms later in life.
Experts largely attribute the increase in the number of allergies to our cleaner, more hygienic lifestyles which mean that we are not routinely exposed to a larger variety of allergens and bacteria and therefore develop no resistant antibodies.
We are also less likely to expose ourselves to environments where these microbes naturally occur as we further embrace the urban lifestyle away from the more natural rural areas.
As a result our systems are compromised more easily.
There is no easy answer to this particular contemporary problem; it would be ridiculous to try and be ‘purposefully dirty’ just to try and expose ourselves to low level irritants, but it may be that some form of innoculation will become necessary if numbers continue to climb.
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