girl with asthma allergies

New Study Shows Link Between Sleep and Asthma, Allergies in Teens

According to a study published in ERJ Open Research, teens that are prone to staying up and waking later are more likely to suffer from allergies and asthma compared to those who go to sleep and wake earlier.

Researchers have seen a strong link in the past between asthma symptoms and the body’s internal clock. However, this is the first study that considers how sleep preferences influence asthma risk in teens.

Researchers consider this study to be another piece of research that demonstrates the importance of sleep timing. They hope the study encourages new research into the effects of sleep on respiratory health.

The team chose to study the relationship between sleep and respiratory health because of the increasing worldwide prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in children and adolescents. Tobacco smoke and pollution definitely account for this increase, but the team still feels there is more to learn.

 

Details of the study

The study took place in India among  1,684 adolescents, ages 13-14. Each participant reported symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, wheezing, or an asthma diagnosis. The teens answered questions about day/nighttime preferences and when they are typically sleepy. They also noted how tired they feel first thing in the morning and when they prefer to get up.

Researchers considered not only the symptoms and sleep preferences but other factors that affect allergies and asthma. These factors included whether their family members smoke and where the participants live.

 

Results of the study

The team discovered allergic rhinitis to be twice as high in late-sleepers and asthma was around three times higher.

The researchers noted that staying up late may not necessarily cause asthma, but we do know that the sleep hormone melatonin is many times out of sync for late-sleepers. This could influence the allergic response for teens.

The team hopes other researchers will be encouraged to join them in their efforts, and wonders if encouraging teens to unplug from screens which often keep them up later could help decrease asthma and allergy risk.

 

Plans for future research into the link between allergies, asthma and sleep

In 2028-29, the research team plans to begin a second phase of the study. The study will repeat with a new group of teenagers to see if there has been any changes in teen sleeping habits and respiratory health.

 

We know sleep is vitally important for many of the body’s functions and organs including the heart. To learn healthy sleep tips, visit ccmhhealth.com/center-for-sleep-medicine/sleep-tips.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

always sick child

Should I be Worried if my Child is Always Sick?

This time of the year, some parents may grow concerned that they are spending all their time at their pediatrician’s office or the pharmacy. Many young children seem to constantly battle colds, respiratory infections and every “bug” that goes around. Although any loving parents would worry, chances are there is little reason to be concerned. If you’re a parent fighting this battle, here are a few answers to the questions you have to ease your mind. 

 

Is it allergies or a cold?

 

Signs of allergies in a child over two include:

 

constant nose rubbing

clear mucus running from  nose for over a month

excessive sneezing 

 

These symptoms definitely point to allergies if they occur during the spring or fall when pollination occurs.  Depending on what the allergy is to, however, these symptoms may occur year-round. Your pediatrician can help you discover the cause of your child’s allergies. 

 

What is the cause of my child’s cold?

 

You may worry your child lacks vitamins or the cold outdoors is causing their illness. Colds do not occur due to a lack of vitamins or a poor diet. Weather conditions also do not affect illnesses as we discussed in our blog, 5 Winter Health Facts

 

Colds are an unavoidable part of growing up. You can’t prevent them other than avoiding coming in contact with cold germs. Although, you really shouldn’t hope to avoid colds completely. They help build up your child’s immune system. 

 

So although it is hard to see your child under the weather, be thankful they are getting this immunity boost at a young age. Most children, even those that seem to always struggle with illness, will greatly improve by mid-elementary school. So the “good news” is your child should miss more of their less academically challenging school days during their preschool and kindergarten years as opposed to their more academically advanced years.  

 

How many colds per year is normal for kids?

 

Most children start to get colds after about six months of age. This is when the immunity they received from their mom fades. After that, they have to build up their own immune system.

 

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers may get as many as seven to eight colds a year! At school age, they average five to six colds a year. Teenagers and adults may have as many as four colds a year.

 

If you’re a parent though, you know it isn’t the only illness your child has to deal with, unfortunately. Children may have a diarrheal illness, with or without vomiting, two to three times a year too! Some children get high fevers with their colds. They may also have a sensitive tummy and develop diarrhea with cold symptoms.

 

What about ear infections?

 

If your child gets a lot of ear infections it doesn’t mean that your child has a serious health problem. This only means that the tubes in the ear aren’t draining properly. And if your child has repeated ear infections, talk to your child’s pediatrician to see if they need to see an ears, nose, throat specialist. Ear tube surgery is a simple procedure that can help many children while others will outgrow this problem before age two. 

 

What is a sign I should be concerned about frequent child illnesses?

 

Consider your child’s overall health. If he is gaining weight and robust, you shouldn’t worry. Your child is no sicker than the average child of their age. Children get over colds by themselves. Although you can reduce the symptoms, you can’t shorten the course of each cold.

 

Many parents worry that their child has an underlying disease because they get a lot of colds. A child with health concerns does not look well in between illnesses, will experience hospitalizations and not gain weight.

 

 A child with an immune system disease doesn’t get more colds than the average child. They will, however, experience numerous serious infections every year such as pneumonia before they are even a year old. In addition, a child with a serious disease does not gain weight very well or look well between infections.

 

When can my child return to school after illness?

 

The first five days of a virus are the hardest.  Cold symptoms can often linger for two to three weeks. As long as your child is fever free for 24 hours, there is no reason she cannot attend the majority of her normal activities. Sports and gym activities may need to wait for a few additional days until he feels up to it. 

 

Parents, hang in there! Winter bugs will be gone before you know it! If you have concerns about your child’s health, however, please reach out to a CCMH Pediatrician today. 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.