Hay Fever

During the spring season, we see more cases of Hay fever. It is also called Allergic Rhinitis (AR).
  • It affects approximately 20% people from all ages.
  • Risk of developing AR is more in children who has asthma or eczema
Causes (seasonal) :
  • Tree/grass/weeds pollen
  • Fungal/mold spores
Symptoms :
  • Nose: stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, nasal itching, post nasal drip, facial pressure or pain
  • Eyes: itchy/red eye, swelling and blue skin below eyes
  • Throat and ears: sore throat, itchy throat, ear congestion, itchy ear
  • Sleep: mouth breathing, trouble sleeping
  • Children may have trouble with concentration and/or school work
Treatment :
  • Reduce exposure to triggers:a. Keep your child inside during morning time when pollen count is high (5 am – 10am)
    b. Keep car and house windows closed and use air conditioner in car
    c. Have child take shower before bedtime to rinse off pollen
  • Nose rinse for older children can try this. It cleans nose as well as pollen
  • Steroid nasal sprays – first line medication. Some sprays are also available OTC (Nasacort, Flonase, Rhinocort, etc.) Nasal spray works best when they are used properly. (Head positioned normally, spray directed away from nasal septum, after spraying sniff gently)
  • Antihistamine medications – Claritin, Allegra etc. relieve itching, sneezing, and runny nose but not stuffy nose. Some antihistamine makes people tired and drowsy. Ask your pediatrician about it before use
  • Combined use of steroid nasal spray and anti-histamine medicine works best
  • Allergy shots – sometimes doctor may recommend allergy shots for children who have poor response to the conventional medical therapy. It is given by an Allergist every week or every month. It changes body’s immune response to allergens over time. It can also help preventing development of allergic asthma later in life
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