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Helpful Hints About allergy
Dr. Medhat Abu Shaaban MD
Consultant Pediatrics & Allergy
Do you find yourself sneezing at certain times of the year?
Do your eyes start to itch every time you go near an olive tree?
If so, you may be among millions of people affected by allergies.
What is an allergy ?
It is an abnormal reaction to certain substances called allergens. These allergens may be inhaled, swallowed or come in contact with the skin to trigger a reaction.
What are the common causes of allergy?
Dust mites :
These are very small organisms found throughout the home and are the most common causes of year-round allergy and asthma.
Mold spores :
Indoor molds and mildew thrive in humid areas of the home such as damp basements and bathrooms. They send out small pores that can trigger allergy symptoms.
Comes from weeds, grasses and trees. They commonly cause “hay fever”: sneezing, congestion, runny itchy nose and itchy eyes.
Animal dander :
Some people are allergic to the animal’s saliva or dander (dead skin flakes).
Insect stings :
In some people, this allergy can be life-threatening.
Allergies At School
Fall means going back to school. For allergic children, that may mean missed school days due to problems related to hay fever.
Any suggestions for helping the allergic child?
Dust irritation :
Reducing dust in the home. At school, children with allergic problems should sit away from the blackboards to avoid irritation from chalk dust.
Asthma and physical education :
Having asthma does not mean eliminating these activities. Often medication given by using an inhaler is prescribed before exercise to control their symptoms. Children with asthma and other allergic diseases should be able to participate in any sport the child chooses ( provided the doctor’s advice is followed).
Change in behavior :
Some allergic children may have bouts of irritability, anger or decreased ability to concentrate in school. These are all signs of “allergic irritability syndrome” often caused by nose, ear and sinus symptoms in allergic children.
Food Allergic Infants :
Some sensitive babies can have allergic reactions to foods their mothers eat. Eliminating these foods from the mother’s diet may provide relief for the child. Solid foods should be introduced one at a time in small quantities to allow parents to monitor potential allergic reactions.
Tips To Rememnber About Allergy
Allergies are common in children.
Many childhood problems are made worse by allergies.
Treating your child’s allergies will make them happier and healthier.
Allergies may lead to ear infection and decreased hearing.
Children may inherit the tendency to become allergic from their parents.
Hay fever, known as allergic rhinitis, is the most common of all allergy problems.
Allergy problems may occur at certain time of the year or year-round.
Early detection of allergic problems in your child will improve their quality of life, decrease missed school days, and keep you at work.
Allergies can show up in different ways in children. Some children get skin rashes, some develop asthma and some get hay fever.
Your child’s stuffed animals can collect dust mites causing sneezing and itching of the nose and eyes. Always buy washable stuffed animals and wash them often in hot water to remove the mites.
Vacuuming can remove other allergens such as house dust, animal dander and pollen.
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