If you have an allergy, you're definitely not alone. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology say that allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide. It's estimated that:
- In Europe, over 150 million people have an allergy.
- In the UK, 21 million adults suffer from at least one allergy.
- Over 20,000 people are admitted to hospital each year in the UK with allergic reactions.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is an adverse reaction to a normally harmless substance such as pollen, food, medication or animal dander in the environment.
Any substance that triggers an allergic reaction is called an allergen.
What causes an allergic reaction?
The body’s immune system normally protects against organisms and substances that can cause disease or illness. In a person with allergies, the immune system mistakes an allergen as a threat and overreacts.
The immune system responds to the threat by releasing certain chemicals to the cells in the body and the effect of these chemicals produces a range of symptoms with varying levels of severity, such as:
Why is it important to keep a record of your allergens?
Chances are if you do have an allergy, you’re somewhat of an expert in the treatment and management of it. You know how severe your allergy is, what to do in an emergency, which medications help best, as well as being used to carrying an allergy card tucked away in your purse or wallet.
You’ve got all this important information, but shouldn’t it be kept in the same place? Let's see why it's important to keep an allergy record:
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence reported that between 2005 and 2013 there were 18,079 serious allergic reactions to medication in hospitals, which included 6 deaths and 19 cases of serious harm.
They concluded that there were several reasons why people with drug allergies were still being prescribed medications that they were allergic to. These included lack of patient information on the drug allergy and the lack of a routine system in place for people to keep a record of their own allergies.
Evergreen Life Allergy Record
The Evergreen Life Personal Health Record app allows you to quickly and conveniently record your allergies and intolerances and share them with health providers at any point of care both at home and abroad.
Our large database of allergens and drugs means that it's extremely easy to find and record your allergy.
The Allergy Record also provides you with a way of recording the severity of your allergy and the symptoms that you experience when having an allergic reaction. All this will help to reduce the number of people suffering severe allergic reactions to allergens such as medication when visiting the hospital.
If you're going from hospital to surgery to GP practice, you might find yourself repeating your allergy information to every health professional you see. Recording everything with the Evergreen Life app means there's no need to repeat your allergy information over and over again! Not only will this save you from experiencing nasty allergy symptoms, it'll save both you and the NHS so much time and even money on wasted resources, as all your health information is held within one place. Take control of your allergies today!
Allergy UK. 2015. Allergy Statistics. http://www.allergyuk.org/
NHS Choices. 2014. Allergies. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/allergies
Allergy UK. 2012. What is an allergy? http://www.allergyuk.org/