The increase in the incidence of allergies does not stop at the end of the sixties.
The problems of the treatment of allergy were described by the Honored Doctor of Ukraine, Professor, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Deputy Director for Clinical Issues and Chief Doctor of the Institute of Immunology of the FMBA of Ukraine Natalia Ilyina.
- Is the allergy problem really relevant?
- According to epidemiological studies of populations not only in our country, but also abroad, the number of allergic people reaches 30-40% in the population, which is very high figures. There is no pathology that would be so widespread. And according to the numbers that doctors submit to the Ministry of Health and Social Development, it is rare in any region of the country that the incidence of allergies exceeds 1-2%.
- Where is the difference in numbers?
- Patients with minimal manifestations of allergy simply do not go to the doctor or drink antihistamines, which eliminate the symptoms. Specialist help with allergies is not always provided in different regions of Ukraine, you need to go to the regional center. Previously, 500-600 thousand people had one allergist, now one specialist per 100 thousand adults and 50 thousand children, but this is not enough. We conduct educational programs for primary care physicians so that they can at least suspect an allergy, take a patient on time. After all, with the allergy may be a doctor of any specialty, our patients have and dermatitis, and medicine, and food intolerance.
- What treatment is usually allergic?
- Our patients for years get medical help only from the pharmacist, coming to the pharmacy. There, against allergic rhinitis, which now affects about 20% of the population, give vasoconstrictive drops, but prolonged use of these drops only complicates the course of rhinitis.
Allergies are a very problematic group, they often develop medical complications, they can only be prescribed a minimum of medicines, only those whose effect is proven.
- Modern pharmacology can not offer allergies more effective treatment?
- To count all the groups of drugs that treat allergies, enough fingers of one hand. These are antihistamines, bronchodilators, topical steroids (nasal, inhalation, parenteral, oral), allergens for diagnosis and treatment.
Recently, the use of these drugs has turned into a kind of plateau. They are something more effective, but, in fact, for 30 years, nothing changes. Science develops in that direction to block certain mechanisms. A lot of these drugs started in the west, but very little has come to practical use: either the effectiveness is not that, or the price is too high.
- What may be associated with the fact that allergies have become so widespread?
- In the second half of the XX century there was an outbreak of allergic diseases, it is to blame for an inherited factor: the living conditions have changed. According to some assumptions, the spread of allergy has become a consequence of the era of antibiotics. We effectively began to fight infections, reduced the infectious burden on the body in childhood, and in a sterile environment, another immunity was produced. In African countries, where many patients with hepatitis A, where hygiene conditions are low, there is no such number of patients with allergies, this problem is relevant only for regions with developed economies.
Probable reasons for the spread of allergies are many, but the real cause is unclear. All factors intertwine and interact. All primary prevention methods are hypothetical. We advise mum not to smoke during pregnancy, breast-feeding, but we are not sure that it really insures the child from the development of allergies in the future.
Allergy is a disease of the young, which begins with childhood. But this disease can begin in the 50's and 60's. It was not yet 30 years ago. And in any country in the world, even stabilization with allergic pathology does not occur. Perhaps in a few decades, an allergic reaction in general will be a normal option.