As sad as it can be, children are as susceptible to disease as we are. In fact, they are at a greater risk, since their immunity systems are still developing and they are more prone to contracting certain disease due to their age and little or no awareness about health. In this scenario, it is important to identity these diseases. One such disease is Allergic Rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction that is caused by certain allergens. It is also commonly known as hay fever. A person suffers from an allergy when their body overreacts to things that don’t cause problems for other people. These things are called allergens. Our body’s overreaction to the allergens is what causes diseases like allergic rhinitis.
It is important to know that there are two types of allergic rhinitis. They are as follows
It is caused by an allergy to pollen and/or mold spores in the air. Pollen is the fine powder that is found in the stamen of flowering plants. It can be carried and spread through the air and can be easily inhaled. The symptoms are seasonal and occur in spring, late summer, and fall.
It is caused by other allergens such as dust mites, pet hair or dander, or mold. The symptoms of this form occur all year-round.
In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of this disease. The following things are discussed below:
Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment for Allergic Rhinitis in Children
Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
The symptoms can vary in your child, depending upon the severity of their allergies. The symptoms are as follows:
- Itching, this happens mostly in eyes, nose, mouth, throat and skin
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Pressure in the nose and cheeks
- Ear fullness and popping
- Sore throat
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Trouble smelling
Allergic rhinitis can last several weeks, longer than a cold or the flu. It does not cause fever. The nasal discharge from hay fever is thin, watery, and clear. Nasal discharge from a cold or the flu tends to be thicker. Itching (mostly in the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and skin) is common with hay fever but not with a cold or the flu. Sneezing is more prominent with hay fever. You may even have severe sneeze attacks.
Causes of Allergic Rhinitis
The allergens that can cause perennial allergic rhinitis are as follows:
Mold is commonly found in places where water tends to collect, such as shower curtains and damp basements. It is also found in rotting logs, hay, and mulch. This allergy is much worse during humid and rainy weather.
It is important to know that proteins found in the skin, saliva, and urine of furry pets such as cats and dogs are allergens. You can be exposed to dander when handling an animal or from the house dust that contains dander.
Most allergens, including the dust mites, are in dust. Dust mites are tiny living creatures found in bedding, mattresses, carpeting, and upholstered furniture. They live on dead skin cells and other things found in house dust and are notorious for causing hay fever.
Diagnosis of Allergic Rhinitis
If the symptoms interfere with the daily life of your child, immediately see a doctor. Your doctor will ask questions about the symptoms and medical history of your kid and perform a physical exam. Keeping a record of your child’s symptoms over a period of time can help your doctor determine what triggers their allergies. Your doctor may want to do an allergy skin test to help determine exactly what your child is allergic to.
During an allergy skin test, tiny amounts of allergens are applied to the patient’s skin. Your doctor will observe and record the way your kid’s skin reacts to each allergen. Your doctor may also decide to do a blood test, such as the radioallergosorbent test (RAST). This test identifies antibodies in your child’s blood that determine what they’re allergic to. Once the allergens are identified, you and your doctor can decide the best treatment for your offspring.
Treatment for Allergic Rhinitis
There are several medicines used to treat allergies. Your doctor will help you determine what medicine is best for your child depending on their symptoms, age, and overall health. These medicines help prevent symptoms if your child uses them regularly, before they are exposed to allergens.
- Antihistamines are compounds that help reduce the sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness of allergies. These medicines come in pill form and as nasal sprays. Many of them are available over the counter. Some of them require a prescription from the doctor.
- Decongestants are compounds as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, which primarily help temporarily relieve the stuffy nose of allergies. They are found in many medicines and come as pills, nose sprays, and nose drops. They are best used only for a short period of time. Nose sprays and drops shouldn’t be used for more than three consecutive days because your child can become dependent on them. This may cause your child to feel even more stopped-up when you make them try to quit using them. However, you can buy decongestants without a doctor’s prescription. But they can raise your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor before using them, in case your kid has high blood pressure.
- Nasal steroid sprays can reduce the reaction of the nasal tissues to inhaled allergens. This helps to relieve the swelling in the nose so that your child feels less stopped-up. These compounds are the most effective at treating patients who have chronic symptoms. Many nasal steroids are available without a prescription. However, you won’t notice their benefits for up to 2 weeks after starting them.
If treated on time, your child can recover from hay fever. Just make sure to follow all instructions and take adequate care.