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Hay fever in a child - a sign of allergy to ...?
A child's hay fever can have various causes. It's hard to point out for one allergen, because there can be lots of them. Most often suspected flowerless trees, grasses and low growing weeds. In spring, allergies are caused by trees such as oak, elm, birch, in summer most often grass (more than half of people with hay fever are sensitive to grass pollen). In addition, they pose a threat mold spores, that live in places with higher humidity, for example in soil, grasses, fallen leaves, as well as in attics, in basements, bathrooms.
In order to detect the perpetrator of the problem, tests are performed: either by taking blood or performing a skin test. In the latter case, an allergen drop is delivered through the puncture under the epidermis and the reaction observed. Changes in the skin (nodules surrounded by a red area) that appear after 15-20 minutes indicate an allergic reaction.
However, the results alone are not enough. Observation of the child remains crucial. If the parent notices that disturbing symptoms appear after contact with the allergen, the diagnosis becomes certain.
A person's tendency to allergies is usually constant throughout their lives, although the symptoms may get worse and weaken at specific times. It is an individual matter - hormonal changes can calm down allergies or increase their symptoms.
Seasonal allergies rarely appear before the child turns 3 years old. Inhalation allergy and rhinitis usually develops, when the child is about 10 years old and reaches its peak when he turns 20's. Often, the symptoms of allergies disappear on their own when a person enters late adulthood.
Is that hay fever?
Hay fever usually appears suddenly and lasts as long as the child is exposed to the allergen. When it comes into contact with a factor that is harmless to other people, a person with a genetic and environmental predisposition begins to react negatively, his immune system is ready, histamine is secreted into the blood, which causes the mucosa to be hyperemic, itchy, and rare discharge occurs. In addition, itchy and watery eyes and itching in the ears can be observed.
The main symptoms that should draw our attention are:
- itchy nose
- light runny nose
- nasal congestion,
Hay fever is often accompanied by itching, tearing and redness of the eyes, these symptoms are called allergic conjunctivitis. In addition, the parent should also pay attention to other symptoms. Children with allergies often are irritable, tired, unable to concentrate. Chronic stuffy nose can interfere with their night's sleep, which is why they happily take a nap during the day.
In addition, an indication that your toddler is suffering from hay fever is significant reduction of symptoms in the room and in the car in which the air conditioning is turned on.
Or is it asthma?
If the child has wheezing and shortness of breath you should check to see if the reason for his problems is not asthma. Read more about the first signs of asthma in a child.
You also have to remember that untreated seasonal allergies can lead to the development of other diseases: sinusitis, chronic ear infections, and even asthma mentioned above.
Is this a child's hay fever?
Rhinitis caused by an allergy is quite easy to identify. The symptoms are recurrent. They appear from year to year, have more in the same period when the contact with the allergen occurs.
However, if you are in doubt as to whether your child is allergic, talk to your doctor about your doubts. A doctor after a short interview and physical examination is most often able to make a diagnosis.
Hay fever treatment
Unfortunately, there is no single effective medicine for allergies and hay fever in a child. It is reasonable where possible limiting contact with an allergenand after returning home, changing clothes and washing the skin. During the climax of the symptoms, it is not recommended to mow the grass, because it also spreads pollen and mold germs. Children with allergies are usually also recommended antihistamines which help to reduce unpleasant symptoms. These products reduce nasal congestion and reduce persistent runny nose. Nasal steroids for nasal spray work the same way. Treatment of hay fever should be under the care of an experienced allergist.