ASTHMA IN CHILDREN: THE INHALED ALLERGENS – INSECTS AS ALLERGENS – ALLERGY TO INSECT REMNANTSBesides insect bites, another type of hypersensitivity which has been discovered recently is the one related to their remnants. Insects have a very short lifespan and when they die, their bodies disintegrate andbecome part of the dust. During monsoon, millions of insects appear for a day and die. It has been discovered that some children become allergic to the remnants of these insects, and when exposed to such a dust, develop asthma. In many cases the symptoms appear only in a particular season. Previously such children were thought to be allergic to some seasonal pollen, but when allergy tests were negative, further investigations revealed that these children were allergic to the seasonal insects. Some children are allergic to insects that are perennial and hence have symptoms throughout the year. Persons allergic to insects may be allergic to pollens, moulds and dust as well.More and more cases of childhood asthma caused by allergy to cockroaches are now being detected. Excreta of these insects—as is the case with house dust mites—is the main constituent that causes allergy. Mouth secretions from cockroaches, as also the remnants of the dead insects, are also allergenic.Children have been found to be more allergenic to cockroaches than adults, mainly because cockroaches are found more often in houses, and children tend to be more house-bound than adults.Killing or eliminating cockroaches, especially in the kitchen and keeping the eatables well covered, is a necessary precaution. Dustbin in the kitchen should be emptied and cleaned before the kitchen is closed for the night.Of all the asthma triggers it is the house dust which is more often involved in case of children. Hence, avoidance of house dust is one of the important measures for the prevention and management of asthma in them.*35\260\8*
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