Treating Childhood Hay Fever

Hay fever is a type of allergic reaction. It occurs when dust mites and pollens get airborne and get into your eyes and nose. It can result in inflammation, and it mostly affects the eyes, sinus passages, throat, and face. When it occurs seasonally, it usually happens when the child has an allergy to pollen. Pollen is small particles that get released into the air by certain trees and grasses. When a child inhales these pollens, they get an irritating sensation in the eyes, nasal passages, and sinuses.  

When hay fever is perennial, it occurs all year round, and it’s caused by other triggers. Some of these triggers include mold spores, dust mites, and animal hair or fur. If your child suffers from this condition all year round, they are definitely allergic to one of these triggers. Your child is most likely to suffer from this disease if his/her other parent has an allergy, as there is a strong genetic component to the condition. This disease is also known as allergic rhinitis.  

Symptoms   

Some of the common symptoms include: 

  • Sneezing  
  • Sore, red, and watery eyes  
  • Blocked nose  
  • Itchy nose, roof of the mouth, back of the throat, and eyes  
  • Mouth breathing  
  • Sniffing and runny nose  

This disease is not that serious. However, if your child is sensitive to airborne pollens, the child may begin experiencing symptoms like rashes, eczema, wheezing, and hives. This disease can result in poor quality sleep, poor concentration in the day, and tiredness.  

Treatment  

It’s advisable to reduce exposure to substances that may lead to this disease. If this disease is too severe, you may choose to use over-the-counter medications that may relieve your symptoms. In case you are suffering from more severe symptoms, you will have to use prescription medications. Most people get better relief when they use a combination of allergy medications. But there is a possibility that you may have to try a few medicines before settling for the one that helps you best.  

If your child is suffering from this disease, you may have to consult your doctor regarding treatment, as not all medications have been approved for children’s use. You will have to read the labels carefully.  

Medication for this condition  

  • Nasal corticosteroids: This prescription is commonly prescribed, and it helps prevent and treat nasal inflammation, runny nose, and nasal itching. This medication is effective for most people and is often prescribed first. Some of these medications include; budesonide, mometasone, fluticasone, and triamcinolone. Nasal corticosteroids are safe and are a long-term treatment for most people. Side effects include nose irritation, unpleasant taste, or smell.  
  • Antihistamines: This medication is usually given in the form of pills. However, you can also get this medicine in the form of antihistamine nasal sprays. This can help with sneezing, runny nose, and itching but does not typically much of an effect on congestion. Medications include cetirizine, fexofenadine, and loratadine. These nasal sprays are known to treat nasal symptoms. Eyedrops like fumarate are good for treating eye itchiness.  
  • Cromolyn sodium: This drug normally has to be used few times a day. It can also be obtained in the form of eye drops with a prescription. It treats hay fever by preventing the hormone histamine from being released. This medication is effective when one uses it before having symptoms. It’s worth noting that it does not usually have side effects.  
  • Leukotriene modifier: Montelukast is a tablet that can be taken to block leukotrienes from working. It is very effective in treating allergy-induced asthma as well as hay fever. Montelukast is unfortunately linked to psychological reactions like hallucinations, suicidal thinking, aggression, and depression. When you experience a psychological reaction, ensure you seek medical advice.  

Final thoughts   

Prevention is the best way of treating hay fever. Try not to expose your child to pollens during summer and winter. If your child reacts to animal fur and dust mites, try reducing their exposure to allergens.  

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