I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.
Allergic rhinitis may be caused by a reaction to dust mites, mold or animal dander, causing symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and sinus pressure. If your child suffers from indoor nasal allergies, an effective treatment option may be devised by his or her pediatric allergist. Your child's doctor may suggest eliminating the triggers that cause the symptoms. The use of medications, or minimally invasive medical procedures such as balloon sinuplasty, may provide long-term relief as well.
As a general rule, it's a good idea to see a pediatric allergist if you believe your child is suffering from indoor nasal allergies. Although there are trusted medications for over-the-counter use, it's best to receive a professional diagnosis and proper guidelines from the doctor. Once the doctor has determined the cause, the following measures may prove beneficial:
1. Reduce Environmental Factors
The first step you might take is to check the humidity level in your home. Did you know that high humidity may contribute to household mold, a common trigger of allergic rhinitis and asthma in children? Buy an indoor digital hygrometer to determine the humidity level.
If humidity is at 50-60 percent, you might want to remove some of the moisture. Waterproof your basement, check for floods and use a dehumidifier, especially during humid weather. Contact a mold removal specialist if mold is present in your home.
Dust mites often contribute to allergy symptoms. While you may not be able to eliminate all dust completely, there are measures you can take to control the effects. Here are a few ideas:
Consider using an allergy-proof encasement protector on your child's bed and pillow. These covers help guard against dust mites as well as fleas, another contributor of allergies.
Wash bedding, draperies and area rugs frequently, and consider replacing carpeting with wood or vinyl flooring.
Don't put your child to bed with a stuffed animal, as these plush toys tend to harbor germs and allergens.
Another option to control dust mites is the use of an air purifier. This device is designed to trap indoor pollutants and allergens and may be used for the entire home or in your child's bedroom. Be certain the air purifier includes a high-efficiency particulate air filter, commonly known as a HEPA filter.
2. Use Prescribed Medications
Regardless of how diligent you are, it may be impossible to eliminate all household allergens completely. If your child's symptoms do not improve by following the guidelines above, the allergy specialist may suggest the use of medication. Antihistamines may help control sneezing, as well as watery and itchy eyes. Ask the doctor to prescribe a medication that won't make your child sleepy.
For nasal congestion and stuffy nose, and to help promote sinus drainage, an oral decongestant may be prescribed. This may help reduce swollen nasal membranes that make your child feel "all stuffed up". Be aware that some medications may cause restlessness or hyperactivity in children, so follow directions accordingly, and report unusual side effects to the doctor at once.
3. Ask About Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy
If your child doesn't respond to other treatment, the allergist may recommend allergy shots. These shots may help your child build immunity to the allergens that trigger his or her symptoms. By delivering a low-dose amount of allergens via a needle, your child may eventually become more resistant to the allergens. The allergist may recommend your child receive these shots monthly, over a period of a few years.
4. Consider Pediatric Balloon Sinuplasty
Nasal allergies sometimes cause chronic sinusitis and recurrent sinus infections. If your child is experiencing bouts of sinusitis, the allergist may recommend a procedure known as balloon sinuplasty. This minimally invasive procedure may be preferred when medications and other measures fail to provide effective relief.
Because no cutting is involved in the procedure, there is minimal risk for complications. Nevertheless, possible side effects and risks should be discussed with the doctor. In some cases, this endoscopic procedure may be performed in the doctor's office, under general anesthesia.
The "balloon" is actually a catheter that inflates to open the blocked sinus passages. This enables drainage and helps reduce inflammation. The doctor may also flush the sinuses with a non-medicated sterile saline solution to aid in further drainage.
Before your child receives treatment or medical procedures, a physical examination and evaluation should be taken. Existing medical conditions should be reported to your child's physician. Also, tell the doctor if your child is currently taking any medications.Share
1 April 2015