Tue, May 07, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Stop treating children’s allergies as colds
兒童過敏別再當感冒

A doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to a child breathe in Hsinchu County on Oct. 8 last year.
一位醫師去年十月八日於新竹縣用聽診器聽小孩呼吸。

Photo: Tsai Chang-sheng, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者蔡彰盛

During a volunteer clinic for children that was organized by the Pediatric Department at Feng Yuan Hospital in April, they found that 40 percent of the children suffered from allergies. Hay fever accounted for the majority. It was also discovered that sneezing and runny noses are often treated as common colds. Doctors say that allergies are hereditary and that learning which allergens are causing allergies is the only way to effectively control them.

Ma Chih-hao, head of pediatrics at Feng Yuan Hospital, says that asthma, hay fever and eczema are the most common allergic conditions he treats, which are all closely related to a person being predisposed to allergies, he says, adding that different allergies exhibit different symptoms. For example, allergic conjunctivitis makes the eyes turn red, hay fever usually makes people sneeze, have runny and itchy noses in the morning or when the seasons are changing, rashes are particularly noticeable on the head, face, neck, and joint areas with eczema, while shortness of breath and wheezing are often associated with asthma.

Ma says that between 50 and 70 percent of people with both asthma and hay fever typically suffer from inflammation of the sinuses. If the inflammation persists, the asthma usually gets worse and can cause a child to feel low and sleepy during the day, and have difficulty paying attention, which can affect everyday life and cause learning disorders.

Ma says that the common cold is usually better within three to five days, while runny noses, coughing or asthma brought on by allergies can persist for one to two weeks. Asthmatic coughing is typically at its worst during the middle of the night or when sudden temperature changes occur between seasons, he says, adding that hay fever is usually worst right after getting out of bed in the morning. He suggests seeing a specialist to determine which allergens are affecting you and find a solution to control the problem. The most common causes of allergic reactions in Taiwan are dust mites, cockroaches, cats, dogs and mold, all of which can be controlled by keeping your living environment clean, Ma says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. disorder n.

障礙;失調;不適 (zhang4 ai4; shi1 tiao2; bu2 shi4)

例: Brent has been suffering from a mild stomach disorder.

(布倫特患輕度胃病。)

2. specialist n.

專家;專科醫生 (zhuan1 jia1; zhuan1 ke1 yi1 shi1)

例: Sarah is a podiatrist, or foot specialist.

(莎拉是一位足科醫師,亦稱為腳專家。)

3. mold n.

黴菌;霉 (mei2 jun4; mei2)

例: There’s mold all over the bread. Don’t it eat.

(麵包都發霉了。不要吃。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

豐原醫院小兒科四月份舉辦兒童義診,發現有四成孩童有過敏體質,又以過敏性鼻炎居多,但打噴嚏、流鼻水症狀常被錯當成感冒醫治;醫師提醒,小兒過敏疾病與遺傳有相當大的關聯,確認過敏原才能有效控制。

小兒科主任馬志豪指出,常見的過敏疾病有氣喘、過敏性鼻炎、異位性皮膚炎等,均和過敏體質有密切關係,不同過敏會有不同的症狀表現,像過敏性結膜炎會眼睛癢、紅眼睛;過敏性鼻炎在早晨或季節變化時,會鼻子癢、打噴嚏、流鼻水;異位性皮膚炎的濕疹常長在頭、臉、軀幹、四肢關節附近;氣喘則有陣發性的呼吸急促或喘鳴。

馬志豪說,氣喘及過敏性鼻炎患者有百分之五十至七十會併發鼻竇炎,若長期處於發炎狀態,將加重氣喘嚴重度,容易造成孩子白天精神不濟、嗜睡、注意力不集中,影響日常生活,造成學習障礙。

馬志豪強調,一般感冒通常三至五天即可痊癒,但若為過敏性流鼻水、打噴嚏或是氣喘的咳嗽,則會持續一至二週,且氣喘多為半夜或季節交替冷熱變化才咳,過敏性鼻炎則多為清晨起床較易引起不適,建議透過專業醫師檢測,找出過敏原,才能徹底控制過敏問題,台灣常見的過敏原為塵蹣、蟑螂、貓、狗及黴菌等,皆可透過居家環境清潔來改善。

(自由時報記者謝鳳秋)

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