JULY 8 is observed as National Allergy Day pursuant to Presidential Proclamation Number 1313 dated July 8, 2007. The day will draw awareness on the growing problem of allergies among Filipino children and promote well-being to those who are suffering from them.
An allergy is an exaggerated reaction by our immune system to bodily contact with certain foreign substances which are usually harmless to non-allergic people. It can develop at any age and at any time. They commonly happen in children but may give rise to symptoms for the first time in adulthood. The most common allergy-producing substances also known as allergens include food, medications, insect stings, animal dander, pollen, dust, mold, and latex. Smoking, pollution, infection, and hormones are other factors that may cause allergic conditions.
Considered as the most common chronic conditions worldwide, allergic reaction typically triggers symptoms in the nose, ears, throat, sinuses, lungs, lining of the stomach, or the skin. For some people, allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma. Symptoms can be categorized as mild with signs of rashes, localized itching, and congestion. Moderate allergy symptoms include widespread itching and difficulty in breathing. Severe allergy symptoms include itching of the eyes and face, abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, varying degrees of swellings that can make breathing and swallowing difficult, and mental confusion or dizziness. A rare, life-threatening emergency in which the body reacts to the allergen of this type is what is called anaphylaxis. The misery that a reaction to an allergy can cause should not be underestimated. So it is essential to know what causes the allergy symptoms by consulting an allergy doctor. However, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen that causes it.
This year's celebration has the theme "Aktibong Alergik at Asmatik Ako" which reminds us that suffering from allergies should not prevent from being active members of our society.
We congratulate the Department of Health headed by Secretary Dr. Enrique T. Ona, and the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, headed by its Founding and Honorary Dr. Felicidad G. Cua Lim, President, Dr. Linda Lim Varona, Vice President Dr. Agnes Gonzales-Endaya, and Secretary Dr. Jovilia M. Abong, its other Officials and Personnel for their continuing efforts to educate and quip allergy patients in understanding and managing their allergies. The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, and Officers, wish them all the best and success in all their endeavors. MABUHAY!