San Tan Valley Area Information

3 minutes reading time (553 words)

Nasal Allergy Symptoms in Children- A quick look at the facts

This parent is factually correct. The development of allergy symptoms often has many factors and is seldom a singular reason. Features of seasonal allergic rhinitis usually do not occur until after the second year of life on the average. A number of exposure cycles are sometimes required before the cascade of body changes which eventually manifest as allergy peak. This 13-month old however was having nasal allergy type symptoms with sneezing, clear runny nose and frequent eye-rubbing not from seasonal “outdoor” allergens - but from perennial “indoor” allergens!

Perennial allergic rhinitis sufferers go through an accelerated cycle of exposure and subsequent sensitization easily due to the ubiquitous nature of the offending allergen in their immediate environment at home usually. The body’s allergy cascade could be sufficiently primed and put in effect within the first year of life. House dust mite, pet/ animal dander, mould, cockroach infested environments are common causes. Airway irritants like cigarette smoke are also harmful to the airway structures and can directly cause injury that may manifest with allergy type symptoms in the early stages.

My patient referenced above lives in an environment where cigarette smoke is present and a number of pet animals are also present in the home. These factors together present poor air quality around this child and have inevitably led to the evolution of allergic rhinitis at a young age. Cat dander is an especially powerful allergen and can be carried by unsuspecting pet cat owners into environments where cat allergy sufferers also hang out. Another patient on our service experienced a situation where sitting close enough to a cat owner at the movies was all it took to get her cat allergy symptoms up.

There is a direct relationship between allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms. Both conditions tend to reinforce each other and early control with an “all-of-the-above” approach to controlling symptoms with medications and improving the quality of air in the home are often very helpful.

Smoking cessation is an important component of the treatment plan. Smoking away outdoors as we often see is welcome. We realize in addition that the cigarette smoke irritants stay on the clothing, hair etc and can still be inhaled by the infant. Smoking cessation helplines are available nationwide and we encourage to avail themselves of the opportunity. I’ve heard of a case though where the family decided to get rid of the Pediatrician rather than the offending pet! - we hope that won’t be the case this time.

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Friday, 21 February 2020
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