Question:Is there anything I can do to prevent asthma in my children?
Answer: To prevent asthma in your children, unfortunately the literature is too confusing right now to really give you a good idea on how to prevent asthma in your child.
There has been a study done on antihistamines in kids who had just inflammation of their nose or allergic rhinitis or hay fever -- and when given an antihistamine, that there is a decreased risk of asthma developing in that population on the active medication. However, there's a lot of faults with that study.
In addition, there are some studies done in people in the same type of situation -- that is, they have hay fever or allergic rhinitis, were put on allergy vaccine, and the kids were less likely to develop asthma in the future. However, that's not an absolute.
In addition, there's been some studies on the hygiene hypothesis, which is a hypothesis saying that we get vaccinated, we remove ourselves from agricultural life, we don't drink milk that maybe is contaminated with endotoxins and so on. And without those exposures, we have an increased risk of asthma.
However, it's too premature at this time, based on the literature out there, saying that you should get a lot of animals in the home, and drink unsterilized milk in order to prevent asthma in your children. I think maybe in the future, it'll be defined better, by right now, there's really nothing you can do, absolutely to protect your son or daughter from developing asthma.
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