Allergy causes are all around us. They can include airborne allergens (such as mold, pollen, animal dander, or dust mites), foods (particularly peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, or milk), insect stings, medications, or latex or other substances. When you have allergies, your immune system reacts by producing antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with that allergen, your system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system. Nearly 18% of children suffer from one or more allergy, and almost 6% have a food allergy.
Any child can develop allergies, but they are more common in children with a family history of allergies. Early identification of childhood allergies will help improve your child’s quality of life, reduce the number of missed school days, and help you avoid having to use sick time or vacation time to care for your child.
Symptoms range from mild to severe, including sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, or throat, runny or stuffy nose, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, or a rash. In the most extreme cases, it can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
If you suspect your child has an allergy, make an appointment to see an allergist. It can also be helpful to start a diary before the appointment and keep track of what symptoms your child experiences and any possible ‘triggers’ that may have caused them.
At Peoria ENT, our team of allergy & asthma specialists are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of care. Our highly-trained providers have completed several years of specialized education and will take the time to diagnose your symptoms and discover the best treatment option. Our providers treat both pediatrics and adults to find the right treatment for you, no matter your age.
Treatment options for allergies may involve managing symptoms through various approaches. These can include using antihistamine creams or pills, steroid creams, inhalers, or auto-injectors. Another approach involves avoiding allergens, which is particularly useful for allergies triggered by food, drugs, venom, latex, or pet dander. In cases of acute tongue swelling or anaphylaxis, rescue medications are available. Additionally, immunotherapy can be employed, wherein allergy shots containing a small amount of a specific allergen are administered to stimulate the immune system without causing a full reaction. This gradually builds up the body’s tolerance to the allergen over time.
For more information, please visit our website at peoriaent.com or call (309) 589-5900.