Allergy symptoms

Children's allergies

Running nose, watering eyes, itching and other manifestations of allergies affect not only adults, but also children. Our offspring are not protected against allergies at any age, especially if parents are sensitive to a certain allergen. Sometimes, allergy goes away by itself, as the child grows older, but sometimes you have to live with it throughout the life.

Allergy is the reaction of the immune system to an irritant that is unpleasant to it (such as dust mites, animal fur, pollen). It results in producing various substances, which provoke an inflammatory reaction, and such illnesses as allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, hives, and food allergy. Allergy is not contagious; it is not transferred from one child to another. Sometimes, several hours will pass before the allergic reaction, which can be confusing and it might not occur to us that it is the milk you had or the cat you petted several hours before that is to blame.

Most frequent symptoms that make parents think it might be an allergy:

  • vomiting, refusing to eat, manifestations resembling intestinal colic, diarrhoea, slow weight gain;
  • running nose, sneezing, wheezing while breathing or coughing, recurring bronchitis, lasting and continuous coughing;
  • skin rashes (dermatitis, hives);
  • easily irritated, poor sleep, frequent crying, headaches.

Main allergy agents in children include food (milk and dairy products, eggs, peanut butter, oranges, chocolate, soy beans, tomatoes, fish and wheat) and inhaled irritants (dust mite, pollen, animal fur and mould). Sometimes, allergic reaction can be expected after consuming products rich in food dyes and preservatives — candy, condiments, ice-cream, cookies can be to blame.

Symptoms of the allergic reaction to dairy, especially cow's milk, do not differ from lactose intolerance symptoms, which is why a visit to the doctor is a must to determine the right diagnosis.



Source: Murtagh’s Patient Education 6 Edition

Manifestations of allergies

Manifestations of allergies can differ depending on the part of the body that is most affected (sometimes, allergic reactions can be combined). Allergic eye damage — allergic conjunctivitis; allergic damage to nasal mucous membrane — allergic cold (rhinitis); allergic bronchial damage — bronchial asthma; allergic skin damage — hives.

Fighting off allergies

Manifestations of allergies inconvenience the daily life. Therefore, as soon as there are any signs of a possible allergy, it is important to reassess the environment, potential allergens or irritants, the time of origination and duration of symptoms, as well as their impact on the quality of life to consult a family physician or allergologist. The most effective way of treating an allergy is prophylaxis. It means that we must know the allergen and exclude any possibility of contact with it.