Allergies are one of the most common ailments in children, with eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis affecting up to 30 percent of children worldwide. New research from Taiwan suggests there may be an easy way to lower that number and encourage physical fitness. Just don’t send the kids outside on days when the air quality is bad.
The study also showed that children exposed to large amounts of air pollution were at greater risk of allergic conjunctivitis. The researchers hope their study will promote physical activity in children and inspire policymakers to prioritize environmental protection. The data will be presented at AAO 2022, the 126e annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
“The rising prevalence of allergic disease, especially in children, is a serious global public health problem,” said lead researcher Tsai-Chu Yeh, MD. “While symptoms in allergic conjunctivitis are often considered minor, it tends to have a chronic course with multiple recurrent episodes and can negatively impact children’s school performance and quality of life.”
Allergic conjunctivitis is when an allergen causes inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that covers the white of the eye. Symptoms include eye redness, itching, and watery eyes.
To conduct the study, the researchers tracked the health records of 1,271,730 children who were examined at age 10. Data was collected from 2010 to 2018. They used the Taiwan nationwide Physical Fitness Test to measure the children’s physical fitness, a test that measures muscle endurance. muscle strength, cardiorespiratory endurance and flexibility.
Researchers found that children who were more physically fit were less likely to develop allergic conjunctivitis. Those at increased risk were generally overweight, experienced greater exposure to air pollution, lived in densely populated urban areas, and had a history of asthma and/or allergic rhinitis.
This research supports several previous studies suggesting a link between allergic conjunctivitis and air pollution levels.
Offered by American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
Quote: Protecting children from eye allergies can be as simple as boosting physical fitness (2022, September 30) Retrieved November 24, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-09-children-eye-allergies-simple- physical.html
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