A NEW TG4 documentary to air this week will shine a light on the work of experts at Cork University Hospital's (CUH) Allergy Clinic.
Ailléirgí by Midas Productions will investigate the reasons behind a steep rise in allergies suffered by Irish people over the last two decades.
Irish people in generations gone didn’t suffer from hay fever, and food allergies were extremely rare even a few decades ago. However, experts insist that 24% of Irish people now suffer from allergies.
Twenty years ago this figure stood at just 1%.
The doc will feature interviews with those at the coalface of allergy testing detail the growing impact allergies are having on the Irish health system.
In CUH, the programme-makers meet parents and patients waiting to see Professor Jonathan Hourihane in the Allergy Clinic.
He is one of only two full-time paediatric allergy consultants in Ireland.
His clinic is overwhelmed and the waiting lists keep growing.
Glanmire resident, Róisín Grufferty brings baby Róisín for her first allergy test to the clinic.
Róisín is just one year of age and recently had a reaction to nuts at home. In the waiting room of CUH’s Seahorse ward, Róisín and Roselyn are not alone as the documentary witnesses the impact of the growing waiting lists and the epidemic of allergies affecting young children and families in Cork and all over Ireland.
Professor Hourihane explains how allergies were merely emerging when he was a trainee doctor as he lays out the impact allergies are having on the health system in Ireland.
He is hopeful that immunotherapy could treat allergy sufferers, but in what he calls an "absence of planning", he feels that allergy services for children would have to be cloned three or four times just to treat even the most severe patients.
The episode forms part of the Tabú series on TG4 airing every Wednesday - Ailléirgí/ Allergies is aired January this Wednesday at 9.30pm.