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Allergy

Updated 16 July 2018

Can allergies really cause mental health issues?

In a new study, eczema, hay fever and asthma are linked to an increased risk of developing mental illness.

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Of the three A's, eczema produced the smallest increase in risk. The research also showed that the use of certain asthma medications lowered the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder.

Future studies 

The study did not examine the possible cause of this strange link and further research needs to be done in order to understand exactly why and how this phenomenon occurs.

However, knowing that there is a link between certain allergies and psychiatric disorders could assist doctors in the treatment and care of their patients. 

“We would like to let clinicians who care for patients with allergic diseases know that their risk for psychiatric diseases may be higher,” adds Dr Tzeng. “Assessing their emotional condition and monitoring their mental health could help to avoid later psychiatric problems.”

Image credit: iStock 

 

Ask the Expert

Allergy expert

Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies.

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