How to deal with spring allergies
What it is?
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an inflammatory disease of the nasal mucosa, which, as you might guess, is based on allergic reactions. The disease is not so difficult, but still the quality of life of the child is significantly reduced. Rhinitis can be year-round - it is caused by all kinds of household allergens (house dust mites, animal dander, molds)
The following factors can contribute to the development of allergic rhinitis:
- burdened heredity, that is, the presence of allergic diseases in parents or immediate relatives
- climate features (too wet or, conversely, excessively dry)
- microclimate features and air quality in the living room
The first symptoms of allergic rhinitis can appear within a few minutes after contact with the allergen, and repeated meetings with it will cause even more pronounced manifestations of the disease. Here is a classic picture of allergic rhinitis. The first “bell” is the so-called allergic salute: the child scratches the tip of the nose with his palm from the bottom up. Within a few minutes, a continuous sneeze develops, it can occur in fits, often in the morning. Then, watery discharge from the nose appears, it becomes difficult or impossible for the baby to breathe. The baby often sniffles, his voice changes (for example, it becomes hoarse), his sense of smell sharply decreases. Additional symptoms may also develop - redness and swelling of the skin above the upper lip and the wings of the nose; nosebleeds due to frequent blowing of the nose and scratching; sore throat and coughing; pain and cracking in the ears, aggravated by swallowing. In addition to everything, the child becomes weak and irritable, gets tired quickly, sleeps poorly, he can be tormented by headaches, it happens that the temperature rises.
Find the enemy
After observing the baby, you can easily guess which of the many allergens is the culprit of all troubles. Here are the main signs that will help determine the cause of allergic rhinitis.
Allergy to pollen of plants.
Symptoms of rhinitis are combined with manifestations of conjunctivitis. Exacerbations are seasonal; the child's well-being worsens in dry, windy weather, that is, under optimal conditions for the spread of pollen; the baby does not tolerate certain herbal remedies and products.
Symptoms of the disease develop during the cleaning of the apartment. Outside the house, in the country or at sea, the manifestations of the disease decrease / disappear. The greatest number of exacerbations occurs in the wet season - autumn, winter, early spring.
Allergy to animal hair.
Symptoms develop in contact with animals or when wearing clothes made of fur and wool. The child has intolerance to drugs and products containing animal proteins.
The disease can be seasonal or year-round. The kid does not tolerate products containing yeast (kvass, yoghurts, cheeses, etc.); his health worsens in wet weather, as well as in rooms that are too humid or poorly ventilated.
Remember that it is impossible to confirm the diagnosis without laboratory tests, which include a general blood test, microscopy of a smear of the discharge from the nasal cavity, allergic diagnostic tests and nasal provocative tests. How is it treated?
Is it being treated?
First of all, it is necessary to try to eliminate, or at least minimize the child’s contacts with the causative allergen, preferably even before prescribing medications. You don’t need to run to the pharmacy and buy pills that Petya’s mother advised or show on TV from morning to evening - all the medicines should be prescribed by a doctor, so you can’t do without consulting an ENT specialist and an allergist.
Today, pharmaceuticals have a large arsenal of safe drugs for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Most often, children are prescribed antihistamines. Modern drugs do not cause drowsiness, but they also have a minus: if the child stops receiving drugs of this group and again comes into contact with the allergen, the symptoms of the disease return. Therefore, antihistamines are used as emergency care, but not for the purpose of treating or preventing new attacks of the disease.
Another effective group of drugs for the treatment and prevention of allergic rhinitis is aerosols and corticosteroids. They are applied directly to the nasal mucosa to eliminate congestion, reduce mucus secretion and reduce inflammation.
There is another method of treatment - immunotherapy (in other words, an allergy vaccine). True, this option is possible and most effective if the baby has a sensitivity to a single allergen. For at least 6 months, a small amount of this harmful substance is regularly administered to the child with a gradual increase in dosage - this stimulates the immune system and eventually leads to the development of resistance to this allergen. The possibility of immunotherapy is determined by an allergist.
In fact, the prevention of allergic rhinitis should begin before the birth of the baby. Expectant mother needs to adhere to a rational diet, eliminate all professional "harmful" factors, minimize drug use (only for strict indications), give up bad habits (including secondhand smoke), and prevent exacerbation of chronic infectious diseases
Secondary, that is, already “in fact,” the prevention of allergic rhinitis is to prevent possible exacerbations and complications of the disease. If you know exactly (or have every reason to suspect) what exactly makes a baby sneeze and cry, do everything possible to limit the baby’s contacts with this allergen. A child allergic to weed pollen should not be given melon, watermelon, zucchini, eggplant, halva, or sunflower oil. If you are allergic to cereal pollen, you will have to refrain from bread, rolls, oatmeal, and cocoa. Children with allergies to tree pollen are not recommended to eat nuts, apples, pears. The full list of “forbidden” treats will be dictated to you by your doctor.
A prerequisite for successful prevention is to increase the body's overall resistance to infections. Temper your baby, play sports with him, record it for massage - and don’t get sick!