Tue, May 07, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Stop treating children’s allergies as colds

A doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to a child breathe in Hsinchu County on Oct. 8 last year.

Photo: Tsai Chang-sheng, Liberty Times

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.


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.


2. specialist n.

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

例: Sarah is a podiatrist, or foot specialist.


3. mold n.

黴菌;霉 (mei2 jun4; mei2)

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


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)






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