Thu, Apr 13, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Pollen, temperatures lead to allergy increase: doctor

By Lin Hui-chin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Pollen and erratic temperatures have led to a 40 percent increase in patients seeking relief from allergies, Taipei-based physician Tseng Chin-ming (曾敬閔) said.

Their symptoms include sneezing and a runny nose that occur after getting out of bed that are unaccompanied by other flu-like symptoms such as a sore throat or fever and are exacerbated by weather changes, said Tseng, a physician of thoracic medicine at Cheng Hsin General Hospital.

Allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis are common in infants, children and teenagers, because their incomplete immune systems are prone to irritation by allergens, Tseng said.

Airborne pollutants, dust mites and pollens are some of the most common allergens and dust mites are to blame for 90 percent of allergy cases in children, Tseng said.

Prolonged exposure to allergens can lead to chronic bronchitis and painful breathing and untreated allergies to airborne allergens can cause asthma or exacerbate pre-existing asthma, Tseng said.

Allergies are present in 70 percent of all Taiwanese with asthma, Tseng added.

People with allergies should avoid breeding dust mites at their residence by forgoing pets or using heavy curtains, while sheets, blankets and carpets should be laundered weekly, Tseng said.

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