How Is Allergic Rhinitis Treated In Children
Some corticosteroid nasal sprays can be used in children as young as 2 years.
Antihistamine tablets can be used for children with mild allergic rhinitis or young children who will not tolerate nasal sprays. Some can be taken by children as young as 12 months. Only newer antihistamines, which cause less sleepiness, should be given to children.
Montelukast tablets are effective for some children.
Your doctor may recommend other medicines.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Allergic Rhinitis
When someone could have allergic rhinitis, doctors consider symptoms, find out about the persons everyday surroundings and activities, do a physical examination, check asthma control and check for allergies.
Tell your doctor:
- When your symptoms started and whether they have become better or worse over time
- Whether you usually have symptoms at particular times of the year
- If anything or any places seem to make symptoms better or worse
- If you have any known allergic conditions and whether family members have allergies
- If you have tried any medicines, such as overthe-counter nasal sprays or tablets, and whether they made a difference.
Your doctor may:
- Measure how well your lungs are working, using a spirometer, or arrange for you to have this test. If you normally test your own lungs using a peak flow meter each day, bring your results.
- Offer allergy tests either skin-prick tests or blood tests or arrange for you to have these tests done by a specialist. Other methods that claim to test for allergy are not useful tests and should not be used.
- Suggest that you try using a nasal spray for a few weeks and come back.
- Refer you to an allergy specialist or an ear, nose and throat surgeon.
You may need to see a specialist if you have any symptoms that are not typical of allergic rhinitis, such as long-term sinus problems, polyps in the nose, pain, loss of hearing or sense of smell, persistent cough, or if only one nostril is always blocked or bleeding.
Hay Fever And Blocked Ears
Hay fever can cause clogged ears. This can happen in vairous ways.
Fluid can build up in the sinuses and behind the ear drum. This could cause pain and pressure in the ear.
There could also be excess wax can build up in the ear canal. In both cases, the ears can feel blocked and uncomfortable.
Frequently blocked ears, which can arise from allergies and hay fever, can also be a sign of Meniers disease which should be diagnosed by a medical profession. Persistent clogged ears due to hay fever can lead to more serious issues like ear infection.
Excess wax can be managed with warm water and soap thendrained. Fluid behind the eardrum isnt as easy to manage unless you see a healthprofession or have medication, over the course of a few days, symptoms fluid behindthe ear may subside.
In both cases, the best practice for reducing these symptomsis to reduce exposure to the allergen. Justlike many irritants in life and health, reduce exposure to the cause and reliefshould follow.
Antihistamines are also useful when it comes to reducing the bodys production of histamine, which is the bodys inflammatory response to a threat to the body .
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What Are The Hay Fever Symptoms
The most common hay fever symptoms are:
- Frequent sneezing
- A blocked or runny nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- An itchy throat, mouth, nose or ears
- Persistent coughing
They are less common but people also experience facial or sinus pain, headaches, earaches and tiredness. Some people with hay fever lose their sense of smell, which is why its important to know the difference between symptoms of hay fever and coronavirus.
Max Wiseberg, airborne allergies expert and founder of HayMax adds, Another set of symptoms worth mentioning are those caused by oral allergy syndrome or OAS.
Some hay fever sufferers find that certain foods trigger unpleasant tingling, swelling or redness in their mouths and on their lips when they eat certain foods which contain similar proteins to those found in pollens.
For example, grass pollen shares a similar protein structure to that found in a selection of fruits and vegetables, including celery, cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, peaches, tomatoes and watermelon and thus can trigger a reaction in a hay fever sufferer who is sensitive to grass pollen.
Recognising Hay Fever Symptoms
View the Hay fever and thunderstorm asthma page for the transcript.
Around one in 4 people with hay fever also have asthma, and it is important to recognise that pollen can trigger asthma as well as hay fever symptoms.
People with hay fever may experience one or more of the following common symptoms:
- runny nose
- itchy, watery eyes.
These symptoms mean that a persons eyes and upper airways are affected. Hay fever does not include symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath or chest tightness, which are asthma symptoms.
If you have hay fever and also develop symptoms such as wheeze, shortness of breath or chest tightness, see your GP.
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Grass Pollen Can Be Wind
Grasses rely on wind to spread pollen grains. Pollen counts will be highest near the source, but strong winds can spread pollen grains over long distances.
Intact pollen grains are usually trapped in the upper airways and do not reach the lungs. Other allergen carrying particles can carry grass and tree pollen allergens. Unlike intact pollen, smaller particles can reach the small airways of the lungs and trigger asthma attacks.
Its Important To Minimize Exposure
Allergy testing can help identify whats triggering your allergies. Additional testing can help to confirm a diagnosis of asthma.
Once you know you have allergic asthma, identifying and avoiding its triggers will help you control your symptoms. When possible, take measures to prevent or minimize exposure, advises Dr. Purcell.
The same methods wont work for all allergy triggers. For example, dust mites are not airborne but cat and dog dander is, he says.
To reduce allergens in your home, Dr. Purcell recommends:
- Minimizing or eliminating pet exposure.
- Using special dust mite covers on bedding and aiming for indoor humidity levels of 35 percent to minimize dust mite exposure.
- Eliminating food sources for cockroaches by using sealed food containers and regularly cleaning kitchen floors and surfaces.
- Changing clothes and showering after you come inside if youre allergic to pollen, and closing doors and windows when pollen counts are high.
Although mold is more of an outdoor allergen, it can develop indoors . Addressing the water leak, then using a diluted bleach solution or a commercial cleaning product is usually sufficient, says Dr. Purcell.
Extensive mold intrusion may require a professional mold removal service.
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What Is An Allergy
An allergy is the immune system‘s reaction when exposed to what is otherwise a harmless substance, such as plant pollen, mold, or animal hair, skin, or saliva. The immune system acts as a body defense, yet for people with allergies, the immune system treats these things, called allergens, as if they are harmful, causing a disruption to normal body functions. Allergens are what trigger a series of reactions by the immune system during an allergic reaction.
What Do I Do If I Have Allergies And Asthma
If you have allergies and asthma, avoid the substance you are allergic to. Here are some tips to help you avoid some of the most common allergens and prevent asthma attack symptoms.
- Encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs with allergen-proof, zippered covers.
- Wash all bedding in hot water once a week.
- Noncarpeted flooring is best. If you cannot get rid of your carpeting, vacuum often with an HEPA filter. Wear a mask while vacuuming. If your child has asthma, do not vacuum while they are in the room. Products that eliminate dust mites from carpeting can be purchased. Your asthma care provider can give you information about these products.
- Avoid curtains and drapes. Use plain window shades instead of mini-blinds. Washable curtains should be washed in hot water every 2 to 4 weeks.
- Dust all surfaces with a damp cloth often, including lampshades and windowsills.
- Keep clutter under control. Toys and books should be stored in enclosed bookshelves, drawers or closets.
- Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable stuffed animals.
- Keep all clothing in drawers and closets. Keep drawers and closets closed.
- Cover air ducts with filters. Change these when soiled.
- Pillows and bedding should not contain feathers.
- Keep indoor humidity low . Use a dehumidifier if needed.
- Regularly change filters on heaters and air conditioners.
Mold and mildew
You can lessen your or your childs exposure to pollen by:
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Preventing Hay Fever Symptoms
While hay fever symptoms can be extremely discomforting, especially if you suffer with other respiratory conditions, but there are ways to reduce symptoms in advance of hay fever season.
You can minimise your symptoms by:
- Keeping doors and windows closed
- Wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- Changing your clothes after spending time outside
- Drying your clothes indoors
- Dusting and hoovering your home regularly
- Exercise and eat a healthy diet
- Avoiding smoking, either personally or around others
- Taking an over-the-counter medication
- Trying a natural hay fever remedy
There are also well-known hacks and tricks, such as using Vaseline to prevent pollen from entering the body.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hay Fever
Symptoms of hay fever are:1,4,5
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Postnasal drip
- Difficulty smelling things
Some people only have symptoms during spring, summer, and early fall.6 These symptoms are usually caused by mold or pollen allergies. Other people have symptoms all year long. These are called perennial allergies and are usually caused by pets, dust mites, cockroaches, or mold.
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What Is Hay Fever
In clinical terms, hay fever is referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis. Unlike perennial allergic rhinitis, hay fever is typically a seasonal condition caused from an allergic reaction. Despite its colloquial title, hay fever is actually triggered by pollens, trees, weeds and grasses and does not cause a fever.
What Can I Do If Im Not Sure
You should first ask yourself how typical the symptoms seem: Are they different from those you usually have during the pollen season? Symptoms like sneezing and itchy eyes are very likely to be caused by an . But hay fever can also cause allergic symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath, which are associated with COVID-19 too.
Its also possible to have both hay fever and a coronavirus infection at the same time. If you have an unusual cough and fever as well as symptoms, its likely that you have a respiratory infection .
If youre still not sure, its a good idea to find out whether it would make sense to be tested for COVID-19.
Note: Rapid tests for coronavirus antibodies that you can buy at a pharmacy cant tell for sure whether or not you have an acute coronavirus infection.
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What You Can Do To Keep Safe
- During spring and early summer, use a corticosteroid nasal spray . Start at the beginning of September and continue to the end of December.
- Keep taking your preventer medication as prescribed. If you dont normally use a preventer all year, you should use it during September-December if you are going to be in an area where there is ryegrass pollen.
- Follow the pollen counts and weather forecasts during spring and summer so you know if a storm is coming.
- Make sure your written asthma action plan is up to date and includes thunderstorm advice talk to your GP
- Avoid being outdoors just before and during thunderstorms, especially in cold wind gusts that come before the rain. Get inside a building or car with the windows shut and the air conditioner switched to recirculate/recycled.
Avoid Your Allergic Asthma Triggers
When pollen counts are high, stay inside as much as possible. Keep the windows closed. If you have an air conditioner, use it to filter the air.
To keep dust mites out, wrap your pillows, mattress, and box springs in allergen-proof covers. Wash your sheets once a week in hot water.
Get rid of items where dust can gather, such as on heavy curtains or piles of clothing. If your child has allergic asthma, only buy washable stuffed animals. Remove wall-to-wall carpeting, if possible.
If moisture is a problem in your home, get a dehumidifier to cut down on mold. Repair any plumbing leaks.
If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom.
Keep your kitchen and bathroom very clean to avoid mold and cockroaches.
Be careful doing outside work. Gardening and raking can stir up pollen and mold.
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Intranasal Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays
These nasal sprays are the most effective treatment for persistent or moderate to severe allergic rhinitis symptoms. They work to reduce the swelling in the lining of your nose . They can reduce all symptoms of allergic rhinitis, particularly nasal congestion but need to be taken regularly to work properly they may take a few days to start to work, though continuous use is more effective in treating hay fever, than occasional usage. For people who experience hay fever, particularly in spring and who do not use intranasal corticosteroid treatment all year, starting treatment 6 weeks before the pollen season and continuing until throughout spring or troublesome times is recommended. Some corticosteroid nasal sprays are available over the counter at your pharmacy and others are available with a prescription and come in different strengths. You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist about which intranasal corticosteroid nasal spray is best for you. As with all medications, it is important to take them correctly to see a benefit.
Tips for using nasal sprays
- Shake the bottle before each use
- Blow nose before spraying if blocked by mucus
- Tilt head slightly forward and gently insert nozzle into nostril
- Aim the nozzle slightly away from the middle of the nose in line with the roof of the mouth
- Press down the spray but avoid sniffing hard during or after spraying
Can Hay Fever Cause Asthma
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis is considered a common condition that presents the signs similar to cold with congestion, sneezing, sinus pressure, and runny or blocked nose.
Hay fever is mainly caused due to the allergens and airborne substances like pollen, but not like a cold that is caused by the spread of the virus.
The majority of the people who have allergy with air particles and dust are prone to hay fever but do not suffer from common fever.
This is due to the fact that it is an allergic reaction caused by the allergens released from fungi or plants into the air which affects the nose .
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Can You Get Hay Fever From Indoor Plants
4.2/5hay fevercanindoorsindoor plants
Keeping this in view, can indoor plants trigger asthma?
The Good: Many Common Houseplants Improve Indoor Air QualityTwo common indoor VOC pollutants are benzene and formaldehyde. VOCs have been linked to asthma and more serious conditions including respiratory illnesses and cancer. Plants act as filters to remove these harmful pollutants via their leaves and roots.
Likewise, what plants are bad for hay fever? These are the 6 plants to avoid if you suffer from hay fever
- Ragweed. Ragweed is packed with pollen, known for causing irritation to the eyes, throat, nose as well as worsening asthma symptoms.
Can Hay Fever Affect Your Breathing
Hay fever will typically display multiple symptoms at once, which can involve skin rash, coughing, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. Anyone who suffers from hay fever will more than likely experience two of these symptoms when exposed.
In terms of breathing, hay fever wont hinder the effectiveness of your lungs like asthma would, but it could affect your ability to breathe in and out through your nose.
If you already have asthma symptoms such as wheezing and breathlessness, they will more than likely become worse during hay fever season. Some people will only have asthma symptoms during hay fever season and are fine for the rest of the year.
When hay fever season is approaching, its important to have a hay fever asthma treatment plan in place to try and circumvent any increase in symptoms you will come up against.
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Do Allergies Affect Your Child’s Asthma
If your child’s asthma isn’t under control, find out if allergies are making it worse. Talk to your doctor, who may refer your child to an allergist for testing.
If it turns out that your child’s asthma is triggered by certain allergens, you’ll want to limit your child’s exposure to them. This can go a long way toward relieving asthma symptoms.
The doctor or allergist may recommend allergy medicine or allergy shots if your child can’t avoid an allergen.
Key Steps To Reduce The Likelihood Of An Attack:
Take your asthma medication
If you are asthmatic and have a pollen allergy, ensure you have your asthma medication with you at all times. Particularly your blue reliever inhaler.
But also take your hay fever medicine
Research has shown that asthma sufferers who also have hay fever can significantly reduce their risk of needing to go to A& E if they treat their hay fever effectively.
Antihistamines will reduce your sensitivity to the histamine released by your body in response to the pollen.
If you are taking Fexofenadine ensure you are not taking them with orange juice or grapefruit as this can dramatically reduce the efficacy of your medication.
Read our full article on how grapefruit affects your medication
Some antihistamine medications become less effective after continued use. If one antihistamine is not working for you, speak with your pharmacist and try alternatives to see if others work better.
Be careful taking antihistamines that can cause drowsiness.
Many of the same antihistamine medication is marketed by different drug companies, look carefully at the generic name of the medication and you may find it is possible to buy the identical medication much cheaper as a generic brand. Ask your pharmacist to help and advise.
When does hay fever season start?
Grass pollens are the most common cause of hay fever, being the trigger for 95% of peoples hay fever. It usually affects people in May, June and July.
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