Age Plays a Role in Allergy Treatment

People can develop allergies at any age. A recent study, however, points out that certain treatments are ineffective based on the individual’s age when they first became allergic.

Immune Shroom

Might it be Mites?

This particular research out of Germany studied adults who are allergic to dust mites. The researchers were trying to figure out why steroid treatment wasn’t working for many of the subjects. A corticosteroid decreases inflammation in the airways. But in many of these cases, the subjects’ conditions remain unchanged with steroid treatment.

What the scientists discovered was that the age of the person (at the allergy’s first appearance) altered the way he/she responded to the medication. Those who developed the dust allergy as adults were more likely to be resistant to the steroids.

What Does this Say?

Unfortunately, this research may predict that certain allergies acquired later in adulthood may be harder to treat. The immune response is different, so the treatment many need to be different as well. Additionally, during their study, the scientists were able to identify (in lab rats) which ones were predisposed to allergies.

Although this particular test was conducted using dust mites, it opens up questions about other allergies acquired later in life. The age of the patient upon allergic commencement may inform on the type of treatment required.

Age of Exposure

We’ve already become aware of certain foods that we perhaps shouldn’t expose to infants—because of the risk of developing an allergy or for safety factors. For example, babies can’t chew nuts, so they’d choke. But it could also be catastrophic if they had the predisposition to nut allergies. The same goes for shellfish.

Honey isn’t recommended (for children under one year) because there’s a chance it could contain bacteria causing infant botulism. Strawberries have also been known to create an allergic reaction in babies and young children,

As with all allergies, it is an immune response. Your body produces histamines as a weapon to attack the allergen to which you have exposed. It’s an overactive immune response. Usually, you get hives, swelling, itching, tingling, your airways become inflamed, among other uncomfortable (and sometimes life-threatening) symptoms.

If you or your children experience these symptoms, it’s important to discover the source causing the allergy. Once detected, you can avoid contact with the allergen and/or seek treatment. Try to eat organic and keep dust mites to a minimum, if possible. Say no to the itch, at any age.

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CanaGel Melts

Understanding the Teenage Years

No parent is ever absolutely ready for the changes and challenges they have to encounter and experience when it comes to a teenager. Even though there have been numerous studies trying to explain the reason behind the unpredictable nature of their behavior, there are still some surprising moments faced by every parent during this time. However, understanding why the behavior is such can help you, as a parent; feel more supportive towards them during this phase.

It Ain’t Done Yet

According to neuroscientist Frances Jensen, the teenage brain is still undergoing change and is getting developed which is why their actions do not always seem rational to adults. In this article, we will share some of the realities associated with the teenage years in the hope to educate parents.

The frontal lobes of our brains are considered to be responsible for the decisions that we make and the reactions that we have to things around us. During teenage years, this part of the brain is still in the process of getting re-wired, which is why you should expect yourself to witness a lot of unpredictable responses and bad judgment calls.

Keep It Up

However, this does not mean that you give up on your child; rather it is essential that you play your part as a parent since the habits developed during this time might stay for a long time. Teenagers that develop bad habits such as smoking, drug use and alcohol addiction will face more problems as adults when they try to quit. Thus, it is extremely important that as a parent, you keep doing the best you can to improve your teen’s habits.

Let’s Get Physical

Apart from the biological changes, there are also many physical changes that are taking place during this time of life. Hormonal changes leading to puberty can also be held responsible for the erratic feelings that your adolescent shows – for example, a change in voice, in demeanor, acne, etc. are all changes that make adolescents more vulnerable to having problems related to self-confidence and self-esteem. Your child is at a stage where they are trying to discover and understand their inner-self and at the same time is learning to accept the physical changes that have taken place. It almost feels like they are in someone else’s body. Knowing this, parents are more likely to give the teenage children some benefit of the doubt.

Sleep It Off

Also, the circadian rhythm of the teenager is subject to change as well. Teens, because of this change, feel more alert during the night and need 3-4 more hours of sleep in the morning as compared to adults. Unfortunately, academic needs do not allow them to get the proper sleep, which is what they need during this stage for to be calm and relaxed.

Bottom Line

Even though this time of your child’s life is going to be challenging for both of you, it is recommended that you still play your role to avoid any damaging lifelong effects. As a parent, you need to make sure that you stay connected to your child by being a constant source of support in their life.

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Smart – what do we mean when we use this word? Do we even know? In schools, children use it to describe students that get the best grades. The ones who don’t have to try to do well. Because, you know, they’re smart!

Is being smart just luck of the draw? The sum total of fixed limitations determined from birth. Is smart the byproduct of having two parents with PhD’s?

If you object to this line of thinking, you’re not alone. A growing number of people feel the same way. In fact, the scientific community has begun focusing on this very topic in recent years.

In his 2012 book, How Children Succeed, New York Times best-selling author Paul Tough addressed the topic of grit along with perseverance, and character. Just this spring, University of Pennsylvania researcher, Angela Duckworth, released her own book, titled, you guessed it, “Grit.”

The idea behind this thinking suggests that schools have, for many years, only measured one kind of intelligence. And grades are not a reliable measure when judged by themselves. Just think, how many times have you heard examples of successful people (think Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs) who never fit the mold of a “good student?”

Grades measure a student’s ability to memorize, apply learned information, and process certain disciplines within a fairly narrow framework. But there are a host of other skills that cannot be measured through a battery of academic tests.

For instance, take the Honor student who is accepted to Harvard. This student may or may not have had to work hard for the grades on his or her report card. For the sake of this hypothetical, let’s assume school came naturally to them. And when they arrive at Harvard, for the first time, they find things aren’t coming so naturally any longer.

Freshman year, they earn C’s for the first time in their life. And when they get back to their dorm, there are dishes in the sink, laundry to be done, and a host of other new responsibilities.

If this student was never presented with the opportunity to learn from failure, to get up after falling down, to persevere when the odds were stacked against, well, you can see the difficulty.

In the same way students are taught about mathematical concepts, literary devices, and scientific formulas, parents and educators must not overlook the importance of teaching problem solving, responding to failure, and grit – that tough, but imperfect trait that helps one forge ahead and learn not to give up.

In his terrific Op-Ed for the New York Times this week, author David Brooks speaks to the topic of grit and why it matters. He cites Duckworth and the research she’s done on grit.

To be clear, schools are not unnecessary in the educational process. Criticizing their very large bulls-eye can be easy, but misguided. But, an evolution is coming. The quicker schools play their role (and many are in the process of doing so!), the better off students will be.

Suggested Reading:

How Children Succeed – Paul Tough

Grit – Angela Duckworth

How to Raise an Adult – Julie Lythcott-Haims