Bug Of The Month: Hayfever (Seasonal Allergies)

Technical Names: Allergic Rhinitis

Nicknames: Hayfever, Allergies

What it is: allergic reaction to something in the environment such as pollen, dust, molds, animal hai. It is an overreaction of the immune system – a “normal” reaction on overload. People can grow in and out of allergies throughout their lives. Genetics determines some predisposition but environmental factors can also overload the immune system.

Seasonal Issues:

Many people have season allergies particularly around season change times. Some people are allergen specific and others have year ’round allergies.

Symptoms:

Symptoms are different person to person but include some of the following:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • itchy skin
  • watery eyes that may appear red
  • wheezing or cough

Treatment:

Symptoms specific and may include:

  • avoidance if possible of offending allergen (eg. if allergic to cats, avoid cats)
  • antihistamines: over the counter and prescritpion
  • expectorant for nasal congestion
  • saline nose spray
  • eye drops
  • other medications as indicated by symptoms

When to Call Your Doctor

  • symptoms interfering with activities
  • symtpoms interfering with sleep
  • trouble breathing
  • worsening itchy rash

Internet Resources for Parents

All About Allergies (KidsHealth)

Internet Resources for Teens and Kids

For Teens


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