Allergy affects an estimated one in four of the population in the UK at some time in their lives. Despite awareness and support rising steadily, the misconceptions surrounding allergies still remain.
Although some allergies can be very debilitating, almost half of allergy sufferers feel that their allergy has been dismissed when talking about it or has not been taken seriously. This is most often experienced in the workplace (39%), followed by the home (35%) and at a restaurant (33%).
Severe allergy sufferers live in daily fear of suffering a potentially fatal reaction. The following video explores the impact the general public's lack of awareness and consideration has on them and how it only adds to their terror.
Although there is no cure for allergies, you can follow these simple steps to articulate your allergy in the most effective way ensuring yours or your child's allergy is taken seriously and you're not suffering alone.
Don't get embarrassed to tell friends and family about your allergy. People can be scared of things they don't understand. Explain how allergy affects you and what you need to stay safe. You will be raising awareness and understanding of allergic disease.
Allergy UK also offer advice for teachers and child carers which you can download from the website to increase their understanding of caring for an allergic child.
For those with food allergies, challenge your friends and family to eat €˜free from' for a week to help them understand some of the difficulties you or your child faces on a daily basis with simple tasks such as grocery shopping.
Speak to other people with allergy. Having an allergy or having a child with an allergy can be quite scary and you may feel like you are on your own. There is lots of support available. Speak to the Allergy UK helpline, they can put you in touch with a buddy or give you some excellent advice on managing your condition.
Allergy UK is involved in a collaborative schools project to make allergic children as safe as possible using a whole school allergy awareness approach. If you need advice and resources to ensure all staff at your child's school understand allergies visit: www.allergyuk.org or call 01322 619898 for our support.
Leading national charity Allergy UK are dedicated to supporting allergy sufferers in the UK and this year they're celebrating turning 25. Their annual Allergy Awareness Week is to highlight the issues faced by those with allergies and aim to get people taking about and understanding allergies.