Published on Apr 18, 2011 with 1 comment
Cockroach allergy? Believe it or not, allergy symptoms and asthma symptoms due to exposure to cockroaches have been recognized since the 1940s. And, scientific studies over the years have linked this allergen to the increasing frequency and severity of childhood allergies and asthma. This is a very common and significant health issues in urban, inner city environments, especially in the south where it is relatively warm and humid.
Cockroach allergy symptoms are caused from the inhalation of tiny particles produced from the feces, saliva, and body parts of cockroaches. When inhaled, the cockroach allergen sets in motion a sequence of events that result in the release of histamine and subsequent sneezing, runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes and nose, and symptoms of asthma such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
It is not a pleasant thought, but 78 percent to 98 percent of urban homes have cockroaches. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the spotting of just one cockroach in the house would make it is safe to assume that at least 800 roaches are hiding under the kitchen sink, in closets, and other dark places. And, if that is not frightening enough, each home a can have as many as 300,000 cockroaches!
Cockroach allergy is present in 23 to 60 percent of inner-city asthmatics. In one of many studies, 37 percent of inner-city children were allergic to cockroaches, 35 percent to dust mites, and 23 percent to cats. Cockroach allergen is such a potent allergen that children who live in homes with cockroaches are 3.3 times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma.
Fortunately, cockroach allergy can be easily diagnosed. It is most effectively treated by a comprehensive approach similar to other nasal allergy treatment, which would include environmental control to eliminate these pests from the house, medication to control symptoms, and desensitization to build up a tolerance to the allergen.
Not only are cockroaches ugly, filthy, and nasty, they pose a clear health danger to susceptible individuals, especially children.