Hay fever can occur in both adults and children with episodes that occur every now and then. Some suffer from the condition to a point where it disrupts daily life. The indications of hay fever include itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing episodes. A doctor should be consulted if you are worried about the symptoms of your child.
What are the causes?
Hay fever is a form of allergic reaction that is triggered when pollen and dust mites from the air enter the nose and eyes that causes inflammation. It typically affects the face, nose, sinus passages, throat and the eyes.
Seasonal hay fever occurs if the child is allergic to pollen. These are small particles released into the air by certain trees and grasses. When the child breathes the pollen, they irritate the lining of the eyes, sinuses and the nasal passages.
As for perennial hay fever, it occurs all year and triggered by other factors such as animal dander, dust mites and mold spores. If the child has hay fever symptoms all year, he/she is allergic to one of these triggers.
Symptoms of hay fever
The usual symptoms of hay fever include the following:
- Runny nose
- Mouth breathing
- Blocked nose
- Sneezing episodes
The child might also have itchy eyes, nose, roof of the mouth and the back of the throat. The eyes appear reddish and sore and tend to be watery.
Take note that the condition is considered as a minor issue but if the child is highly sensitive to pollen, he/she can end up with other symptoms such as hives, wheezing and rashes particularly eczema. In addition, it can also cause tiredness, poor-quality sleep and diminished concentration during daytime.
When to consult a doctor
A child should be taken to a doctor if you are worried about the symptoms of hay fever or the symptoms seem to get in the way of the child’s daily life.
The doctor might refer the individual to an allergist so that allergy testing is performed. This is done to identify the substances responsible for the symptoms.
Since there is no cure for this condition, the treatments are aimed on managing the symptoms.
- Antihistamines – work by reducing the itchiness, runny nose and sneezing but do not work for a blocked nose. Some types can trigger drowsiness but the latest variants do not generally have this side effect.
- Steroid nasal sprays – these are ideal in managing hay fever, especially for a blocked nose. It can be used safely during the pollen season for the seasonal type or throughout the year for the perennial type.