From NPR! 過敏是都市孩童專利
雞蛋、 牛奶、 花生與蝦子
To Sniff Out Childhood Allergies, Researchers Head To The Farm
Heard on Morning Edition
June 11, 2012 - RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And another health problem on the rise數量增多 – allergies過敏, especially in children. Nearly half of all children are now allergic to something, whether it's food, animals or plants. NPR's Patti Neighmond has that story.
PATTI NEIGHMOND, BYLINE: Dr. Andy Nish is in private practice私人診所 in Gainesville, Georgia. Today he's seeing 16-year-old Casey, who's here for a routine check-up例行檢查.
DR. ANDY NISH: So ears look good. Open mouth real big, say ahh.
NISH: OK. Good.
NEIGHMOND: Nish is looking for telltale signs無法掩蓋的症狀 of allergy - runny nose流鼻水, itchy皮膚癢, watery eyes眼睛一直流眼淚, sneezing打噴嚏. Casey's nose is a bit congested鼻塞 but it's not too bad.
NISH: All righty. Don't feel any lymph nodes淋巴結 in your neck. That's good. Take a listen to your breathing - big breaths大口吸氣.
NEIGHMOND: Casey's allergic to dust, mites蟎
, cats, certain grasses and certain weeds.
NISH: He definitely has the three main, what we call atopic diseases過敏性疾病, which would be allergic rhinitis過敏性鼻炎 or hay fever花粉熱, asthma氣喘. And then he had more eczema濕疹 when he was younger. And now he has more dry skin and these little bumps called keratosis pilaris毛囊角化症. So, yes, he's definitely an example of somebody who is allergic.
NEIGHMOND: If you're allergic to one thing, chances are非常有可能的 you're allergic to a number of things. Federal health officials聯邦衛生官員 say the rate of allergies among children in the U.S. today is two to five times higher than it was 30 years ago. Researchers are trying to understand why. The leading theory: the hygiene hypothesis衛生假設(環境乾淨讓人生病).
NISH: It looks like with our modern living conditions and cleanliness that we have fewer and fewer germs to fight off.
NEIGHMOND: Which means our immune system免疫系統 doesn't get trained to recognize and fight foreign invaders外來入侵者(細菌病毒之類的), whether they're harmless or not. The theory is bolstered by被…支持 evidence from farms. Studies show children who live on farms have low rates of allergies.在農莊長大的小孩較不容易罹患過敏
Dr. Mark Holbreich is an allergist in Indianapolis and a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 美國過敏氣喘免疫學會
DR. MARK HOLBREICH: The farm effect is the fact that children seem to live on traditional farms have a lower prevalence較不普及 of allergic diseases such as asthma and allergies.
NEIGHMOND: Holbreich recently did a study which found very low rates of allergies among Amish children living on farms in Indiana. He says the children may be protected because they get exposed early on to dirty environments and variety of dust and germs.
HOLBREICH: Actually when the mother's pregnant with the child and living working on the farm, working in the barn, drinking raw milk生乳(未經機器低溫殺菌處理過的奶) and then once the child is born on Amish farms阿米希農莊, the children are very often at barn at young age, and when they're weaned from the breast斷奶, then they start drinking raw milk. And we think that there's something about unpasteurized未經消毒過的 and un-homogenized未均化全脂牛乳 milk that is the key, along with exposure to large animals, particularly cows.
NEIGHMOND: Scientists don't know exactly what it is in raw milk, or in the barn, or on the cows that may boost the immune system提升免疫力. They're researching that now. But Holbreich cautions against drinking raw milk or serving it to your child. He says it contains far too many disease-causing bacteria.
There are other theories about why allergies are on the rise. Taking antibiotics early in life太早就服用抗生素 may be a factor. Tightly constructed homes with little ventilation通風不良 may foster助長 allergies. And today people stay inside for longer periods of time, not exposing themselves to the great outdoors.
But if you have allergies, Dr. Andy Nish says, you shouldn't despair.
NISH: There's good treatment out there and there's no need to suffer.
NEIGHMOND: There are lots of medications to treat symptoms of effectively. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed. There are over-the-counter一般藥房就可以買到的 anti-histamines抗組織胺素劑 and decongestants鼻律清之類的通鼻藥. And there's a nasal steroid鼻塞用的類固醇藥類 sprays.
NISH: They help to decrease inflammation減少發炎 in your nose and they work over time so should be taken daily.
NEIGHMOND: But the closest thing to a cure, says Nish, allergy shots過敏原注射(減敏療法的一種), injections of the actual allergic substance.
NISH: And so the allergy shots are to specifically to what that person is allergic and they're given in very small doses非常少量的 to - if you will - sneak it past the immune system偷渡注入身體裡面，不讓免疫系統發現(以毒攻毒).
NEIGHMOND: And slowly build up the body's tolerance耐受度. After a few months, allergies are usually under control. And after a few years, patients can usually stop the shots altogether.
Patti Neighmond, NPR News.
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