Allergies are increasing rapidly across the globe.
Allergy expert Professor Mike Levin says rhinitis (hayfever), asthma, eczema, food allergies and anaphylaxis are most common and severe in South Africa.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
It is caused by food allergies in children and by medicine and insect bites in adults.
Levin, CEO of the Allergy Foundation SA, says there is evidence that urban areas have a higher allergy rate than rural communities.
This is because of the difference in diet and other environmental factors, Levin explains.
In the urban environment, eating junk food is a major cause of many of the non-communicable diseases of childhood an adulthood.— Professor Mike Levin, Head of Division of Asthma and Allergy, Red Cross Hospital
Even barbecues or braais; those fats and proteins cooked at high temperatures.— Professor Mike Levin, Head of Division of Asthma and Allergy, Red Cross Hospital
Tshisa nyama is itself a pro-inflammatory food that's possibly causing many of these non-communicable diseases.— Professor Mike Levin, Head of Division of Asthma and Allergy, Red Cross Hospital
We see children having very severe reaction, to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, milk and egg as the most common allergens that cause near-fatal or fatal cases of anaphylaxis.— Professor Mike Levin, Head of Division of Asthma and Allergy, Red Cross Hospital
Take a listen to the expert medical advice and how it impacts children the most: