The increased number of asthma and allergic reaction sufferers has lead to physicians to re-examine why.
The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ has been around for over 25 years but it is still a ‘hypothesis’. This has been perpetuated by numerous epidemiologic and animal studies.
Idea is that the more hygienic one’s early life is, the more likely when exposed to allergens & microbes, an allergic disease and/or asthma will result. Here is ‘how it goes’, not being exposed in utero or childhood to dust, microbes (bacteria virus etc.) causes the body when exposed to over respond with an exaggerated immune response (asthma, hay fever and eczema). Research has gone so far as to find that foreign-born American children were significantly less likely to have developed one or more of these diseases than US-born children up to age 10. Furthermore over a lifetime the significance of this hypothesis is unknown.
Folklore has it that being born and raised on a farm decreases likelihood of developing an allergic disease and/or asthma. Well it is so worldwide. A study in Switzerland of Amish farm children versus city children showed statistically significant differences (farm-7.2% compared to about 44%-city) in allergic diseases. In addition, Korean children given antibiotics in infancy were more likely to develop allergic rhinitis and eczema.
Many theorize that gene variations can be a factor. The final word is not in on sanitary hand gel use and immunity.