Does your child suffer from an allergy? The most common symptoms can appear anywhere in the body and include irritation in the skin, eyes, the lining of the stomach, nose, and throat. Do you think your child might need the attention of a pediatric allergist? At Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, OR, we can help you pinpoint the most common symptoms and find a reliable treatment that works.
11 Common Symptoms of Allergies in Children
Nearly anything that irritates the nose of your child will make them sneeze. Sneezing is typically caused by dust, pollen, dander, and the like. It can also be the body’s way of dispelling unwanted germs, which can irritate the nasal passages. When you believe an allergy triggers your child’s sneezing, your pediatric allergist can order a test to give you more information.
2. Stuffy Nose
One of the most common signs of allergies in children is a runny or stuffy nose. This reaction makes the air passages narrower, making the nose feel full or itchy. The nose creates additional mucus, blocking the nostrils or dripping out of the nose. Mucus may also drip from the back of the throat. Sinus tissues can swell and cause pain in reaction to an allergy.
3. Throat Tightness
Does your child feel tension in the throat and you can’t pinpoint the cause? Your child can feel tightening of the throat from an allergic reaction to food or other substances. When the immune system releases chemicals to fight an allergy, tightness in the throat is one potential symptom. It can be followed by a sensation wherein your child feels the need to swallow.
4. Itchy Nose and Throat
When the body comes into contact with allergens such as dust mites or mold spores, the immune system releases histamine. It causes the nasal and respiratory systems to function less efficiently, causing the mucous membranes to become less effective in filtering the air. It also limits airflow into the nasal passages, resulting in an itchy nose and throat.
5. Itchy, Watery Eyes
If your child’s eyes are irritated, the immune system can cause it to produce too many tears. Your child can also have issues with pain, itching, redness, and blurred vision. Lots of people have allergies, but many do not know how their eyes are affected. Spores, pet dander, mites, and smoke exposures can make your child’s eyes swollen, itchy, and watery.
6. Skin Rash
Itchy skin can be caused by inflammation and allergic reactions. When the skin comes into close contact with allergens, rashes may appear. These look like red, itchy patches with tiny bubbles or bumps. The further appearance of rashes occurs when the skin comes into contact with a material being attacked by the immune system. Among children, allergies to synthetic materials are common.
Allergy cough is not the same as influenza or cold cough. It’s merely a reaction of your child’s immune system to an allergen. Asthma is likely to cause a cough as well. If your child is wheezing or feels pressure in their chest, they’re likely suffering from an asthma cough. You can help your child by taking them to a pediatric allergist who can treat their symptoms and provide long term relief.
Another allergy symptom is wheezing, a whistling sound as your child breathes. Asthma is typically synonymous with wheezing. The symptoms of asthma and allergic reactions on the airways and lungs tend to be similar. They both can cause the swelling and narrowing of the airways, further causing mucus to develop.
The most common signs of food allergies can involve nausea and vomiting. This allergic reaction occurs when your child’s immune system overreacts to a food or substance in a food, misidentifies it as a threat, and activates a defensive response. We don’t usually associate seasonal allergies with nausea. Nausea and vomiting are rarely signs of environmental allergy.
10. Shortness of Breath
Asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath are closely related to allergies caused by pollen, dander, or mold spores. Irritants may also exist in the air, such as smoke, chemical emissions, heavy odors, or severe weather conditions. Asthma symptoms can also be triggered by intense exercise or a disease, such as an illness that affects your child’s breathing, including flu or bronchitis.
11. Upset Stomach
Your child may also suffer from food allergies and digestive problems. When your child’s digestive system comes into contact with anything that their immune system sees as a danger, it easily reacts by releasing chemicals known as histamine. The release of histamine and other compounds can trigger a reaction that can lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
What Types of Allergies Can Your Child Possibly Have?
Whenever we say allergy, some people seem to believe it’s food-related. You’ll be surprised to hear that allergies can come in different forms, too. The following are the most common types of allergies your child can have.
Food allergy in children can cause symptoms to appear regardless of the amount of allergy-triggering food they consume. These symptoms may occur after eating immediately or may take up to two hours. Some infants may also have allergic reactions to lactose that do not show right away.
In general, food allergy signs include swelling in the mouth, lips, and throat. Other children show symptoms such as scratching, hives, and a runny or stuffy nose. Among these, anaphylaxis is the most severe food allergic reaction. It is a life-threatening reaction affecting the entire body. It can cause an instant drop in blood pressure and adversely affect the heart rate of your child. It’s a fatal reaction that requires an epinephrine injection for treatment.
Common skin allergy symptoms include dry, irritated, red, and itchy skin. If your child has a skin allergy, they can develop tiny bumps that ooze a yellowish or clear liquid. Children with eczema may grow up in a family with a disease background.
Hives are another type of skin allergy that is often described as a red and itchy bumpy rash. The symptoms usually disappear within a day. However, it can be an annoyance as it can manifest in different types and sizes anywhere in the body. In some instances, swelling caused by hives may occur on the tongue, arm, eyelids, and lips.
Allergic rhinitis is also referred to as hay fever. It refers to a reaction that presents symptoms such as runny nose, nasal obstruction and congestion, and sneezing. It can take several hours for the symptoms to subside, without any medical intervention or initial treatment.
One downside to allergic rhinitis is its potential to interrupt the everyday routine. Your child may experience a decrease in school performance and also lose some sleep. Irritation may also occur in the throat, sinuses, bronchial tubes, and the middle ear. The symptoms can worsen if not adequately treated.
Allergic asthma refers to the inflammation and swelling of the lungs’ airways. The more severe the inflammation, the more difficult it is to breathe. These respiratory issues typically result from contact with allergens in the environment, such as pollen, smoke, dust, and even fragrance.
How a Pediatric Allergist Can Help Your Child
If your child’s symptoms are not eased with the use of over-the-counter medicines such as Benadryl or other allergy remedies, we recommend that you seek help from a pediatric allergist. We may conduct a basic blood test and examine your child’s medical history to assess their condition. We’ll be able to find the exact allergens that cause allergic reactions so that you can know the right precaution and care.
While many parents opt to use an over-the-counter medicine to help their children battle allergies, we feel it is safest to find the allergy’s root cause before treating it. Do you expect allergy testing to be performed during your child’s appointment? We generally advise parents not to give antihistamines to their child three days before the meeting. Eye drops, nasal sprays, and oral allergy drugs should be avoided to ensure the accuracy of the results.
What Happens on the First Appointment
Some people expect allergy testing to be conducted during the first visit, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, we need to postpone allergy tests if your child has been taking medications that can affect the results.
During the first appointment, we’ll make a summary of your child’s symptoms, medications, and record exposure to possible allergens and any family history of allergies. We may also visually inspect your child’s nose and eyes and listen to your child’s lungs.
Allergy Testing Methods
We can administer tests to confirm the presence of your child’s allergies. Once conducted, we can create a customized treatment plan to make your child feel better in the short and long term. The most frequent tests include:
Skin tests are the most common form of allergy testing. They can determine the presence of antibodies against specific allergens. A few diluted allergens are put on the skin, then the area for testing is pricked or scratched. If your child is allergic to the substance, a slightly elevated bump should appear after about fifteen minutes. It looks similar to a mosquito bite. Many allergens may be evaluated later on.
We can also perform an intradermal examination, wherein a small amount of allergens is injected under the skin for the purpose of the examination. This type of skin test is more sensitive and accurate compared to scratch tests. Skin test results are available directly after the test is finished.
Allergy blood tests measure the presence of antibodies against certain blood allergens. The most commonly used test is a radioallergosorbent test. When skin tests can not be performed, blood tests can be used. It is often recommended for children with certain skin disorders, for example. Your child doesn’t necessarily need to have a certain allergy to get a positive blood test. Blood tests for allergies may take longer to produce results and can cost more.
A pediatric allergist monitors this test. Your child is given a minimal amount of the allergen by mouth or through inhalation. Compared to other testing methods, only a challenge test can determine the presence and the intensity of a specific allergy. Skin and blood test reactions only show the possibility of some reaction, not the extent of the reaction.
Alleviate Allergy Symptoms to Improve Your Quality of Life
Many children suffer from various allergy symptoms, but it shouldn’t prevent them from living a happy childhood. By working with a trusted pediatric allergist, you can develop a plan to treat allergy symptoms and avoid exposure to allergens in the future. Contact the Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, OR, today, and schedule a consultation! We are dedicated to helping your child and giving you peace of mind.