Antibiotics in Early Childhood May Be Linked to Allergies, Study Says

A new study is suggesting that antibiotics in early childhood may increase the odds an individual has certain allergies later in life. Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands presented their findings earlier this week at a medical congress in London.

According to the scientists, the study was composed of medical database research and observational studies that focused on children taking antibiotics from infancy to age 2. Data was analyzed from more than 40 studies involving over 650,000 patients. Their findings found links between early antibiotic intake and two specific types of allergies:

  • Eczema – Researchers found that people exposed to antibiotics before the age of 2 faced a 15% – 41% increased risk of eczema, a skin allergy characters by red, itchy skin.
  • Hay fever – The study found that the risk of hair fever increased between 14% and 56% in patients who has taken antibiotics early in life. Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is a common condition caused by allergic reactions to plant pollen (ragweed) and other indoor allergens, including dust mites and animal dander.

In addition to increased risks of eczema and hay fever, researchers also noted that individuals who were treated with two courses of antibiotics at a young age had a stronger association of developing both types of allergies.

While the study delivers new suggestions, there are still many questions behind what exactly causes allergies. For example, researchers question whether the allergic disease itself caused infections that required antibiotics in early childhood or the use of antibiotics influenced the development of allergies.

As scientists further explore the mysteries behind allergic conditions and the human body, allergy sufferers are still left to struggle with symptoms. Fortunately, there are ways to find lasting relief, and our Board-Certified allergists at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia are to develop customized treatment plans that can help you find the relief you deserve!

Contact us for more information about our services.

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