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Allergic Rhinitis is an allergic reaction to airborne allergens which can be a substance or substances that are normally harmless. Airborne allergens like pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust can cause an allergic reaction in the nose (Allergic Rhinitis/Hay Fever). Although pollen is the most common cause of
Allergic Rhinitis, many things can cause this allergic reaction and it is often inherited.
Pollens are are the tiny airborne particles given off by trees, weeds and grasses for the purpose of fertilization. These pollens circulate only at certain times of the year, while others are present nearly year round. During April and May, the most common pollen causing allergies is from trees. In June and July, the pollen causing allergen is usually grass. From August until the first frost, the leading allergen causing Allergic Rhinitis/ Hay Fever is Ragweed pollen.
Minimizing your child’s exposure to offending allergens through avoidance may help reduce their symptoms.
The following are some avoidance tips that can help with your child’s symptoms:
· Check your local weather reports for pollen count forecasts. You can also log on to http://www.pollen.com to get up-to-date pollen counts for your area.
· When possible, avoid going outside when the pollen count is high.
· Close windows and doors that face prevailing winds.
· Use an air conditioner rather than an attic or window fan. Fans can pull in pollen.
· Avoid planting plants related to ragweed such as zinnias, chrysanthemums, marigolds, dahlias and sunflowers.
· Use High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and (HEPA) vacuum cleaners to eliminate allergens.
· Change filters frequently in heaters/air conditioners and wash evaporative cooler filters regularly
· Avoid walking through uncut fields, mowing grass, handling mulch or raking leaves
· Pollen tends to collect on the exposed body surfaces and especially in the hair. Shower your child and wash his hair every night before he goes to bed.
· Your child should avoid handling pets that have been outside, due to them being covered with dust and pollen.
This is a chronic condition that will probably come back every year during pollen season, perhaps for a lifetime. Therefore, it is important to learn how to control it. The best medication for controlling allergic rhinitis/hay fever is antihistamines. It will relieve nose and eye symptoms. Most of them do not require a prescription. Symptoms will clear up faster if given at the first sign of sneezing or sniffles. Daily symptoms may require that the antihistamines be taken continuously during the allergen season. Children with occasional symptoms can take them on the days when symptoms are present or expected.
Severe symptoms can usually be controlled by adding steroid nasal spray. Nasal washes may also be helpful. Use warm water or saline nose drops to wash pollen or allergic substances out of the nose. Instill 2 to 3 drops in each nostril, then have your child blow the nose. Repeat until clear. Teens can splash warm water in the nose and then blow until clear.
If your child has signs or symptoms of allergies that do not improve with medication and avoidance tips, consult your child’s healthcare provider for further treatment and management such as allergy testing or referral to an allergy specialist.
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans.