Allergies and Asthma.

Author:Hastings, Penny
Position:Book review

Michael J. Welch (editor); ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA; American Academy of Pediatrics (Health & Fitness) $14.95 ISBN: 9781581104455

Byline: Penny Hastings

When a kid is sniffling, wheezing, coughing, and sneezing, what's the cause? It might be a cold, but it might also be allergies -- physiological reactions often caused by overactive immune systems. Nearly 50 million Americans have allergies, and although allergies can develop at any age, they most commonly present symptoms during childhood or young adulthood.

Multiple allergens provoke allergic symptoms. For instance, a five-year-old's seasonal runny nose, itchy, puffy eyes, and sneezing, or hives after eating peanuts all indicate allergies. Wheezing and shortness of breath following exercise or contact with a substance like cat dander also suggest asthma, an inflammation of the airways.

Allergies tend to run in families, and common ones include hay fever, asthma, and eczema (patches of itchy, red skin rash). While many aspects of allergies are not fully understood, advances in research and treatment can reduce the symptoms for sufferers. This book provides detailed explanations that can help in recognizing and dealing with all kinds of allergies, from the minor to the most severe. It also addresses lifestyle adjustments to ease living with asthma and allergies. Symptoms, medical explanations of the body's reactions, and treatments are amply discussed...

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