Seasonal allergies

Children suffering from seasonal allergies suffer from recurring symptoms in the spring (and sometimes fall). Symptoms include itchy nose, eyes, mouth and/or ears, tearing, blotchiness, post-nasal drip and runny noses, coughs, wheezing and shortness of breath (similar to asthma). These symptoms can either manifest as sporadic attacks or be present for long periods of time. Seasonal allergies are generally attributed to pollen, plant, or dust allergies. It is important to determine the exact source of your allergy in order to get the proper treatment.

In order to determine the source of the allergy, the doctor will run a series of tests on the child’s hands as well as run a number of blood tests.

Treatment is based on prevention and local and general medical treatment

Prevention of allergic reactions
Children should try to avoid exposure to allergens as much as possible. Avoiding pollen inhalation (or other allergens) is hard to do during the springtime, but it is possible and there are ways to reduce exposure. Children should avoid camping or hiking during the springtime, make sure there is no mold or moisture in their apartments and use a filtered air conditioner.

Dust mites are another type of common allergen. Dust mites are tiny creatures that live in organic substances released from humans (such as skin cells). They are mainly found in bed sheets, carpets, rugs, curtains and books. Airing out the house, cleaning and changing sheets often will lower exposure to mites.

Medications for allergies
Most treatments are based on antihistamine drugs, which prevent histamine-induced symptoms. Histamine is active during an allergic reaction. Nowadays, most antihistamines available do not cause drowsiness like they once did.

Additionally, nasal sprays and eye drops are available. Most contain antihistamine.

There are some sprays which contain steroids for local treatment. In most cases, the child will be prescribed a combination treatment.

If sprays and drugs do not work, doctors will recommend allergy shots