'Tis the Season to be Sneezing - Spring Message

Ah the fresh smell of spring…the sunshine, the bees, the birds and the flowers. These are some of the things that make it such a beautiful time of year. Unfortunately, they are also among the very same reasons many Americans dread the Spring. Some people are born with an allergic sensitivity to pollen, animal dander, mold and / or dust mites. So, as the trees and flowers bloom again, the annual pain and suffering begins.

If your child suffers from seasonal allergies, you know what we are talking about. No less than 44 million Americans are estimated to suffer from Hay fever each year. Children are among the most severely affected. Millions of children that suffer from seasonal and environmental allergies go without proper treatment because they remain undiagnosed. It is therefore important that you make sure that your children are properly assessed and treated if necessary.

Symptoms include frequent sneezing, runny nose, nasal itching, nasal congestion, and throat itching. Some children experience red, puffy, itchy, and watery eyes. Often symptoms are so severe that they trigger asthma exacerbations. Indeed for most children, the key to controlling their asthma is adequate management of their seasonal allergies. 

Home treatment is done mostly with the use of antihistamines. There are different types of antihistamines. There are also other classes of medications that are used to treat seasonal allergies such as Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists, and Mast Cell Stabilizers. Steroid nasal sprays are sometimes necessary. Which treatment regimen to use on your child is best determined by your child’s pediatrician following a thorough evaluation.

Other measures can be taken by you to minimize your child’s chances of developing severe symptoms. These include: 
Avoiding exposure to freshly cut grass.
Staying indoors as much as possible on days when the pollen count is high
Using your car’s air conditioner on long drives instead of having the windows down
Giving your child a shower at night so as to wash off all the pollen accumulated on the hair and skin during the day
Emphasizing the value of hand washing. 
Frequent vacuuming of your home to ensure control of pollen and dust mites.
Discouraging hugging and tumbling with pets that have been out doors

Augustine Akalonu