The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and people are sneezing everywhere. Sound like spring to you?
With the start of spring comes the start of allergy season, but not for some farm kids, researchers say. While allergists have long known that farm life helps prevent allergies in kids, research shows the benefit might even extend to adults who live near a farm, according to Health Day.
Compared to children brought up in the city, those with early life farm exposure typically had fewer cases of asthma, allergies and sinus problems, according to a Thorax journal article.
Scientists also found that women who grew up on the farm were shown to have stronger lungs than women with an urban upbringing.
Researchers remain unsure what drives the correlation between spending time on the farm and the development of allergies, but they speculate that exposure to certain microbes, air pollution and physical activity could all play a role, as reported in Time Magazine.
Too much cleanliness is an additional theory as to why children brought up in the city typically have a higher chance of allergies.
"It looks like with our modern conditions and cleanliness that we have fewer and fewer germs to fight off," says Andy Nish, a physician with a private practice in Gainesville, Georgia, in an interview withNational Public Radio.Our immune systems protect us by learning to fight off foreign invaders, whether they're harmless or not. We can't train our defenses if we don't get exposed. And if you're allergic to one thing, you're likely allergic to a number of things.
Allowing children to grow up on a farm exposes kids to good bacteria, building up their immune systems and lessening their chances for getting sick or having allergies. However, it should be noted that if you suffer from allergies, spending more time on the farm will not cure them. Instead, seek help from a medical professional who can provide you with the proper medication that will help you endure exposure to your allergens.
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