Making sense of allergies: new guide published by Sense About Science

There has been a lot of media coverage on allergies today, thanks to a new report that we developed with the help of the charity Sense about Science.

Every day we hear from people via our helpline or social media, confused about the latest allergy news or health trends and seeking advice on how to manage their or their child's asthma as a result. The information out there is incredibly confusing and often contradictory which is why it is vital that people with asthma have access to clear unbiased information to help people make the right decisions about their own health and the health of their family. Increasing our understanding of allergies and asthma is one of the important reasons why we fund the MRC-Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma.

If you (or your child) have a food allergy as well as asthma, your risk of a serious asthma attack is higher but you can reduce that risk with simple steps:

  • Make sure you, or your child, takes their preventer inhaler every day as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Keep your reliever inhaler with you at all times, in case you do need it make sure your school keeps a spare inhaler for your child.
  • Ensure you have an accurate food allergy diagnosis so you can avoid the trigger food you'll need to get this through your doctor.
  • Make sure you or your child have an up to date written asthma action plan keep a picture of it on your phone so you can check it whenever you need to, and make sure school has a copy too. People who use one are 4 times less likely to go to hospital for their asthma yet only 30% of people have one. Download one today.
  • Got any questions? Call the Asthma UK helpline and speak to an asthma nurse specialist on 0300 222 5800.

Almost half of children with asthma also have allergies. This is particularly worrying because research shows that people with asthma and food allergy are 7 times more likely to be admitted to hospital for their asthma than those with asthma who do not have a food allergy. Not only that, but people with asthma and a food allergy are 5 times more likely to end up in intensive care following a severe attack than those without an allergy. You can find out more about asthma and food allergies on our website.

Asthma is such a complex condition, so we need to see more investment into asthma research to help us stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. Can you help us do this? You can donate online or you can text RESEARCH to 70500 to donate £5 today.