Allergies And Your Child: What Do You Need To Know?
Your child has allergies. She's sneezing, her nose is stuffy, and her eyes are watering. Obviously, you want your uncomfortable kiddo to feel better. Before you run out to the store to buy the first OTC allergy remedy you see, stop and take some time to figure out what the problem is.
While there are certainly symptoms that point to one type of allergy over another, only a professional (such as an allergist or an ENT) can truly diagnose make a diagnosis. But, that doesn't mean you can't go to your child's first appointment armed with some info. Learning about the different types of allergies and their major signs can help you to better understand what the doctor needs to know and what they're telling you.
Pollen allergies are extremely common, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. If your child has a pollen allergy, you might notice the symptoms more during the plant 'growing' or blooming times (spring or summer and sometimes in the fall). It's not likely that you'll notice pollen allergies during the winter. That is, unless you live in a warmer climate where plants continue to grow year-round.
These types of allergies typically cause excess mucous, sneezing, stuffy/runny nose, red itchy eyes, or itching around the eyes, ears, or mouth. It's likely that the doctor will treat your child's pollen allergy with antihistamines and decongestants. These may be prescribed or the doctor may recommend an OTC option. If the pro suggests an OTC medication, always use the dosage directions that the doctor provides.
If your child has red, itchy eyes and a stuffy nose year-round, dust mites might be the culprit. Let's say it's the middle of winter. There's a foot of snow on the ground and temps are dipping well below freezing. Your child is sniffling and sneezing, but she doesn't have a cold or other virus. What's going on?
It's unlikely that pollen is causing her symptoms. There just isn't enough of it right now. While dust mites aren't the only answer, the doctor is likely to consider this option seriously.
Animals and Dander
Dust mites aren't always the cause of year-round allergies. Your furry friend may be causing your child to sneeze and sniffle. It's not actually your pet as a whole that is causing the possible allergy – it's the dander on the skin.
If you notice that your child's symptoms get worse when you cat or dog is around, dander may be the issue. Before you ship Fluffy off to grandma's house, get a definitive diagnosis from the doctor. Antihistamines and other medications may help your child, making it possible to keep your pet.
Along with the major allergens, you'll find that there are plenty of other possibilities when it comes to your child's sudden stuffy symptoms. These may include household cleaners/chemicals, beauty and hygiene products, foods, and even laundry detergents. Always consult a professional before making any changes to your child's routine (such as eliminating a food or changing all of her bathing products) or using any medication.
For more information, contact local professionals like Mid America Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic PC.