The UK has the highest prevalence of allergies in Europe and one of the highest in the world.
Half of British children suffer from an allergy, according to the report by Allergy UK. But training in the field is poor, diagnosis is slow and treatment is underfunded.
Parents of children with allergies and adult sufferers are often left to manage their own illnesses, some of which can be life-threatening, with little advice, knowledge or support.
As Allergy Awareness Week kicks off today, 22nd April, Allergy UK is launching a nationwide appeal to raise £1million to provide specialist nurses within communities across Britain.
They will give speedy diagnosis and advise on treatment plus management. They will also ensure that the more complex cases are referred to the best specialists. Without proper treatment, asthma, hay fever, eczema and food allergy can lead to chronic ill health.
Jim Bennett, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Allergy can be life-threatening so a lack of diagnosis and support is extremely frightening for sufferers.
“Allergy affects millions of people in the UK, which has a severe impact upon their everyday lives and prolongs suffering. We need help to bring about much-needed change.”