Thursday, 10 April 2014

Understanding Atopic Triad


The atopic triad consists of atopic dematitis (eczema), allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, atopic diseases have increased in frequency in recent decades and now affect about 20% of the population in developed countries.

What is atopy?
The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines atopy as a personal and/or familial propensity to produce IgE antibodies and sensitization in response to environmental triggers.

How does Atopic Triad (also known as Atopic March) work?

According to the Experience Journal of Boston Children's Hospital:
"These allergic reactions tend to happen in sequence during childhood. You often see a child who early in infancy develops bad eczema and maybe associated food allergies, and while that’s very likely to settle down after time, having bad eczema in infancy gives you about a 50% higher chance of developing asthma, so that by the time that kid is two they might be developing intermittent episodes of wheezing and coughing. Then a little later in life they might develop upper airway allergies, which is Hay fever. That progression is called the atopic march, and it’s very common for kids to follow."

What causes Atopic Triad?
  • Genetics: When one or both parents have anyone of these atopic diseases, it increases the chance of their child getting it.
  • Environment: change in weather, pollens, dust mites, mold, cigarette smoke etc
  • Lifestyle: stress, diet, lack of sleep

Impact of Atopic Triad
Atopic diseases cause a lot of discomfort and health issues all year round for those suffering from it. From dry flaky skin leading to eczema during the Winter to hay fever - constant sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes during the pollen season in Spring/Summer/Autumn. Those residing in tropical countries are not spared either. Sweating in the hot humid weather aggravates the eczema condition and also promotes growth of dust mites and molds which are allergens that can trigger an allergic flare up.

Living with atopic triad can be tiring, frustrating and heart-breaking if you are a parent. Jennifer from It's an itchy little world  shares her family journey on her blog, detailing how she copes with her two kids who suffer from the atopic triad. Awesome blog!