The Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology told FMT today, in conjunction with Malaysian Allergy Day, that the National Specialist Register still does not officially list immunology as a specialist field, despite the profession being recognised in Europe, North America, and Australia.
According to Dr. Kavita Reginald, a member of the society’s executive committee, there are many more undiagnosed drug allergies, food allergies, and primary immune diseases, which contributes to poor care and management of these conditions.
“This underlies two major issues. First, patients must be proactive in seeking medical advice to treat their allergies and not leave them undiagnosed. Second, there is an urgent need for more allergy specialists to be trained.”
She stated that misconceptions about allergies are “abundant,” and that being aware of potential symptoms is an important part of early detection.
Rather than waiting for symptoms to worsen before seeking medical attention, Dr. Kavitha strongly advises seeing a specialist as soon as an allergy symptom is suspected. The specialist would be able to identify the trigger and work with the patient to develop an allergy management plan.
Kavita also stated that it is critical not to confuse allergic reactions with the flu, as they share common symptoms such as congestion or sneezing, because, unlike a virus, which typically dissipates over time, an allergy can persist and worsen over time if not treated.
While many people are unaware that allergies can be cured, immunologists can handle reactions in the long term and reduce the need for medication.
“Immunotherapy is a form of allergy vaccination, where it conditions the body to react differently to the allergen, building tolerance. It is the only therapy which provides long-term improvement of symptoms, lowers medication use, as well as significantly improves the quality of life of the allergic individual.”
She further said;
“Immunotherapy is suitable for those with moderate to severe allergies that cannot be well controlled with medication, or those who do not wish to take medication long term.”
She stated that, as with many health issues, early detection is critical, and that one’s quality of life can be greatly improved if appropriate management strategies are found in a timely manner.
Furthermore, according to a group of doctors, the health ministry should recognise immunology as a specialty field so that more trained personnel can be produced to improve allergy care and treatment.
Having that said, the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology is organising an event to promote public awareness of various aspects of allergies with the Malaysian Allergy Day.
This public webinar is part of the World Allergy Organization’s global consciousness campaign. This year, “Anaphylaxis” is the theme selected (or severe allergic reaction) and everyone is encouraged to engage in this informative talk.
DATE : 19 JUNE 2021
TIME : 7.00pm – 9.00pm
PLATFORM : Facebook (Allergy.MSAI) (https://www.facebook.com/Allergy.MSAI/)
Source: Free Malaysia Today