Health : allergic rhinitis in children and how to treat it
If your child does not stop sneezing in the morning, you are probably wondering if his cold symptoms like sneezing, runny nose and congestion have anything to do with the change of recent times. But if the child has the same symptoms at this time of year each year, it is certainly seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis is an allergy symptom that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores and trees, grasses and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.
The immune system of people allergic to mold spores or pollen treats these particles called allergens as invaders and releases chemicals including histamine into the blood stream to defend against them. And it is the release of these chemicals that is the basis of allergic symptoms.
If your child has the same cold symptoms at the same time of the year, they may have seasonal allergic rhinitis
One can be allergic to one or more types of pollen or mold. It’s the type of pollen the person is allergic to that determines when symptoms appear. Generally, pollens appear in spring and mold spores in autumn depending on the geographic location.
Even children who have never had seasonal allergic rhinitis can develop it at any time. Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, although this usually happens before the age of ten and reaches its peak in their twenties with symptoms that disappear later in adulthood.
Clogged nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes are symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in children
What is seasonal allergic rhinitis in children?
Rhinitis is a reaction that occurs in the eyes, nose and throat. This reaction takes place when allergens in the air cause a release of histamine and other chemicals in the child’s body. Normally allergens are harmless. But when a person has allergies, the body considers these allergens as dangerous and begins to attack them. Special cells called mast cells begin to release chemicals and include histamine.
Allergic rhinitis is an irritant reaction that occurs in the nose, eyes and throat
These chemicals irritate the nasal tissue and this causes allergic symptoms. When this happens in the pulmonary breathing tubes, it can cause asthma symptoms like coughing and breathless breathing. Allergic rhinitis can occur on a seasonal or year-round basis. Often there is a family history of seasonal allergic rhinitis, asthma or food allergy.
Often the causes of allergic rhinitis are plant pollens, mites, mold and arquames from animals
What are the causes of seasonal allergic rhinitis?
The most common causes of allergic rhinitis in children are: pollen from trees, grass or weeds; acarians ; mold; cockroach waste; animal arches. Things like a strong smell for example or tobacco can cause symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis. But these substances are irritants and not allergens.
Eight to ten children with asthma are also predisposed to have seasonal allergic rhinitis
What children are at risk for allergic rhinitis?
Children with other allergic diseases such as eczema, food allergies or asthma are more likely to also have seasonal allergic rhinitis. Eight to ten children with asthma also have allergic rhinitis. For these children allergens are a common cause of asthma attacks. Children whose parents have allergies are also at high risk for developing allergies. Controlling allergies can help control asthma and eczema in some children.
What are the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in children?
Each child may have different symptoms. Common symptoms include: sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, throat, irritated nose and eyes, nose bleeds, clear nose drainage.
There are several treatments for allergic rhinitis that can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Children who have allergic rhinitis all year round also have symptoms like: frequent ear infections, snoring, mouth breathing, poor school results, a line or crease in the bridge of the nose which often appears by scratching the itchy nose. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can resemble other medical conditions or other health conditions. You should always consult with your child’s doctor to get the correct diagnosis.
How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed in children?
In most cases, your child’s doctor will diagnose the child based on the child’s complete medical history and a physical exam. During the exam, the child’s doctor may also find: dark circles below your child’s eyes; folds under the child’s eyes; swollen tissue in the nose.
If this is the case for your child, then your child’s doctor may advise you to go see an allergist with the child. The allergist specializing in the treatment of allergies and he can test the child. This test will help determine exactly the things that cause allergies in children and advise you on how to treat the symptoms.
To find the causes of allergies in children, the allergist will do skin tests in two ways:
- A drop of liquid purified from the allergen is placed on the child’s skin and the area is pricked with a small pricking device. If the child reacts to the allergen, the skin will swell a little in this area.
- A small amount of the allergen is injected just below the skin. The test stings a little but it is not extremely painful. After about 15 minutes if a bump surrounded by a reddish area appears (like a mosquito bite) at the injection area, the test is positive.
Even if a skin test or blood test proves an allergy, the child must also have symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a child who has a positive test for grass pollen and sneezes a lot while playing on the grass will be considered allergic to grass pollen.
How is seasonal allergic rhinitis treated?
Medicines for allergic rhinitis can be very effective and it is important to help the child improve his quality of life. Scientific research has shown that children with rhinitis may have trouble sleeping and then become very angry or show poor concentration during the day. These problems can affect the child’s ability to have a normal daily routine. In addition to this, if rhinitis is left untreated, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems including asthma. Some drugs work by blocking the allergic response, while others reduce inflammation.
Nasal steroids and drops are very effective in treating the inflammation of seasonal allergic rhinitis and very little of the slanderers are absorbed into the body, so side effects are rare. It is also important to try to limit exposure to allergens if possible.
There are several ways to treat seasonal allergies depending on the severity of the symptoms. The most important thing in treatment is knowing which allergens are disturbing for the child. Some children can get relief by simply eliminating exposure to allergens.
If certain seasons cause symptoms in children, you should keep the windows closed, use air conditioning if possible, and stay indoors when possible. It is also a good idea for children with seasonal allergies to wash their hands, take a shower and change their clothes after playing outside. If reducing the exposure to allergens is not possible for some reason or if it is not enough to get relief, then you need to use medication.
What can be done to prevent seasonal allergic rhinitis in children?
Allergy testing can be helpful in determining which allergens are causing your child’s rhinitis symptoms. For some allergens, avoidance can be fairly simple, such as for example animals like horses and ponies and other pets like dogs and cats.
In the case of dust mites and mold, exposure to allergens can be reduced by taking measures such as special mattresses and pillows, vacuum more often, avoid carpets and soft blankets. These measures can be effective for many children.
It is still more difficult to avoid exposure to pollens, but some children may benefit from the following strategies:
- Stay indoors in the afternoon if possible. This will reduce exposure to pollens.
- Try to avoid going outside on days with strong winds or after storms.
- Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes.
- Take a shower after coming home and wash your eyes often.
- Stay home after the grass has been mowed.
- Plan a garden with few allergens around the house.
- Keep windows closed at home and in the car and use air conditioning if possible
- Avoid picnics in parks and nature walks during the pollen season. Try to plan a family vacation out of pollen season, or spend your vacation by the sea.
- If the child is susceptible to weeds or trees outside the bedroom window, remove them.
When should you call the child’s doctor?
You should call the child’s doctor if the child has worsening symptoms or new symptoms that start to appear.
Key points regarding allergic rhinitis in children
Rhinitis is a reaction that occurs in the nose, eyes and throat. It occurs when allergens in the air cause the body to release histamine. Allergic rhinitis can also remain for the whole year and is often linked to a family history of allergic rhinitis, eczema, asthma or food allergies.
Your child may be sent to an allergist for allergy testing. Common causes of allergic rhinitis include pollens, mites, mold and animals. Children with other allergies such as eczema, food allergies or asthma are more likely to develop allergic rhinitis. Treatment for allergic rhinitis may vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and may include staying away from allergens and using medication for the treatment of symptoms.
What are the next steps to take regarding seasonal allergic rhinitis?
Here are some tips to make the child’s doctor’s visits more effective:
- It is better to know the cause of the visit to the child’s doctor and know what you want as a result of this visit
- Before making a doctor’s appointment, you can write down the questions you want to ask him
- During the visit, you can write the name of certain diagnoses or new drugs to try or tests to perform. You can also write the doctor’s advice regarding the child’s condition
- Find out why a new medication is prescribed and how it can help the child. You should also ask what the side effects of this medicine may be.
- Ask the doctor if the child’s condition can be treated differently
- You should try to find out why a test or procedure is recommended for the child and what the results may mean.
- You should try to know what you can expect if your child does not take the prescribed medication or undergo the recommended tests
- If your child has follow-up medical appointments, you can write their date and time
- You should also know how to contact the child’s doctor outside of office hours. This is important in case your child’s condition worsens or if you have any questions.
General tips for seasonal allergic rhinitis in children
It is important to understand the emotional stress that allergic rhinitis can cause in children and they should know that they are supported by their loved ones. The symptoms of rhinitis can often be overlooked by those around the sufferer and it is very important that the child can feel that his loved ones understand his symptoms and the impact they have on his life.