Keep up with all the latest AIFA news and activity by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook and Twitter.
Personal lupus stories raise awareness
Following her revelation about her lupus diagnosis, singer Selena Gomez gave more details about her condition on the Ellen DeGeneres show recently. With millions of viewers worldwide, it was a great platform for raising awareness of this disease. Gomez explained that lupus is an autoimmune disease, which will stay with her for the rest of her life.
Natalie Cromb, an Australian blogger, has written a moving account of her family's personal story as her sister struggles with Lupus. She writes:
Chronic illness changes people - it changes families. Chronic illness is not understood by those who aren't in the trenches with it. Chronic illness is a lifetime on the sidelines, battling for moments. A life not lived but endured.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is a common and debilitating disease affecting around 1 in 5 people in Australia and New Zealand. Despite its common name, it is not caused by hay and does not result in fever. Even though it was known that pollen rather than hay was the cause as far back as the early 1800's, the term hay fever stuck. Pollen from grasses, weeds or trees, released in spring, can trigger symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma. It is that time of year.
Symptoms are caused by the body's immune response to inhaled pollen, resulting in chronic inflammation of the eyes and nasal passages. People with allergic rhinitis often suffer from fatigue due to poor quality sleep. It can impair learning and performance in children, result in more frequent absenteeism in adults and reduced productivity, and therefore can cause considerable impairment to quality of life.
Around 8 in 10 people with asthma have allergic rhinitis, and this can make asthma more difficult to control.
To help people who suffer from pollen induced allergic rhinitis, a project known as the Australian Pollen Allergen Partnership was established to provide a standardised, readily accessible and reliable pollen count network to provide current local information to patients and doctors for the major Australian cities.
Australian children and adults with allergy are often being poorly managed, with resources being wasted and their health and wellbeing at risk - but the launch of the new National Allergy Strategy has solutions.
The National Allergy Strategy has been developed over the last 12 months involving scores of experts and over 50 stakeholder groups, including consumers, who have sifted through the evidence, consulted widely and produced coherent, achievable options for governments, health organisations, food industry and employers. Led by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), as the leading medical and patient organisations for allergy in Australia, the Strategy aims to address public health issues relating to the rapid and continuing rise of allergy in Australia and improve the health and quality of life of people with allergic diseases, their families and carers, and the community.
Anna Burke, MP speaking in Parliament about the launch of the National Allergy Strategy.
More than 4 million Australians are affected by allergic disease. Last week saw the launch of the National Allergy Strategy, which if implemented across Australia has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life for people living with allergies and anaphylaxis.