The Rundown on Allergic Rhinitis

Is your child always suffering from watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes and nose? He just might have allergic rhinitis. If you or your husband has it, chances are, your child has inherited it. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may be bothersome but, fortunately, they can be addressed easily.

What Is Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is the inflammation of nasal passageways caused by allergens. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy eyes and nose. If not treated immediately, it may cause nasal congestion, coughing, sore throat, and headache. Those who have frequent attacks may also develop dark and puffy undereyes.

How to Prevent Allergies

The only way to prevent allergies is to avoid all allergens that trigger them. Allergens that cause rhinitis often include pollen, dust mites, dust, and dander. Completely avoiding them though is impossible. The best thing you can do is to reduce exposure to these allergens. If pollens trigger your allergies, stay indoors during pollen season. Use microfiber cloth when cleaning your home to avoid dust from spreading through the air. Regularly clean your airconditioner’s filter and if you have pets in the home consider an Air Purifier For Dogs‘ hair. Clean your mattresses and upholstery often and keep the home aerated with fresh air from outside (unless pollen triggers your allergies of course). At home, we use Allercon, a tannic acid spray, to make sure that no mites inhabit our mattresses.

Treatment

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be treated quite easily. There are a slew of nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants available over the counter but it is always best to consult with your child’s paediatrician before buying any of them for your child. Medication would depend on your child’s age, the severity of his allergy, and other medical conditions.

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To give you an idea of the possible treatments for allergic rhinitis, here’s a quick rundown of treatment your doctor may prescribe:

Nasal Wash. This simple saline solution helps remove mucus from the nose. It’s available in drug stores but can also be made at home using warm water(1c), salt(1/2tsp), and baking soda(pinch). My kids and I use the ones in spray form available in drug stores. This may be the only treatment required for mild allergic rhinitis.

Antihistamines. These work well in treating allergies. They come in syrup, chewable tablet, and spray forms. Though available without prescription, always ask your doctor which one would be most suitable for your child.

Nasal Corticosteroid Sprays. These are very effective in treating allergic rhinitis but have to be used for continuous periods. Although they are generally safe for children, make sure to consult with your paediatrician first as steroidal sprays may not be necessary at all. Prolonged use may cause nasal passages to become dry and sensitive though. Alternating it with nasal wash may alleviate this discomfort.

Decongestants. Clogged nose can be addressed using decongestants. They are available in syrup, tablet and spray forms. They must not be used for prolonged periods though. Nasal spray decongestants must not be used for more than three days. Most syrups should only be taken for a maximum of five days. Again, ask your doctor before giving any decongestant to your child.

Immunotherapy. For severe cases, allergy shots may be recommended. Your child will be given regular shots of the pollen he is allergic to. The doses increase slightly until his body is able to adjust to the pollen and the symptoms are lessened.

Allergic rhinitis has become more common nowadays perhaps due to the grave increase of pollutants in the environment. Some outgrow their allergies as their immune systems become less sensitive to allergens while some will need medication throughout their lives. Moreover, medication that has worked before may lose its effect and require a new one. It is always best to consult with your doctor regularly.

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