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Allergies Influence Mental Health Issues Among Teens

Allergies Can Impact Teens’ Mental Health

New research asserts allergies can have serious, far-reaching consequences, especially on adolescent sufferers.

“The emotional burden of hay fever can be huge for adolescents,” said allergist Michael Blaiss, M.D. Blaiss is the lead author of a review in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“Three of the studies in our review examined how adolescents are emotionally affected by hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and hay fever with eye allergies (allergic rhinoconjunctivitis),” he said.

“They found adolescents with hay fever had higher rates of anxiety and depression, and a lower resistance to stress. The adolescents also exhibited more hostility, impulsivity and changed their minds often.”

Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans and are occasionally misunderstood and seen as a minor condition.

The article identified 25 studies that examined the effects of hay fever and hay fever with eye allergies in adolescents (10-17 years of age) and analyzed symptoms, impact on daily activities, emotional aspects, impact on sleep, educational burden and treatment burden.

“Our review highlights that allergy symptoms can be different in adolescents than in adults or children,” said Blaiss.

“Lack of sleep or poor sleep are both huge issues for adolescents, and it can be made worse by the symptoms of hay fever with or without eye allergies. Poor sleep can have a negative impact on school attendance, performance and academic achievement.”

The studies indicated that hay fever with or without eye allergies can negatively impact aspects of daily life that include driving and reading ability and can have a negative effect on psychological function. Adolescents may be particularly vulnerable because they may be embarrassed by their symptoms, may be learning to drive and are at a crucial point in their school career.

“Adolescents aren’t ‘big children’ or ‘small adults,'” said Blaiss. “They have very specific needs, and allergists can help relieve symptoms that can cause suffering.

“Adolescence is an important developmental period and controlling symptoms can help with daily activities such as homework and sports practices.”

Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Allergies Can Impact Teens’ Mental Health

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Allergies Can Impact Teens’ Mental Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2018/06/12/allergies-can-impact-teens-mental-health/135741.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Jun 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.