Pediatric Pulmonologist Provides Custom Treatment for Children’s Allergies
As a parent, it can be tough watching your child cope with the sneezing, hives, or stuffy nose that accompany most childhood allergies. One in four children cope with allergies, and children with a parent who suffers from allergies are particularly likely to suffer as well. This likelihood rises if both parents suffer.
At Dr. Shukla’s Asthma, Allergy, and Sleep Center of New York, we help you and your child cope with their allergy symptoms because we understand how difficult it is to live with allergies. We can create a customized treatment plan to address your child’s specific needs, regardless of age and allergens, so that both you and your child can experience relief.
Most people encounter potential allergens, like latex or pollen, all the time without harm. In people with allergies, however, the immune system sees the truly harmless substance as a potential threat, and fights a danger that’s not actually there, causing allergy symptoms. These symptoms can range from mildly annoying to life threatening. Every time someone with an allergy comes into contact with the allergen or allergens that affect them, these symptoms are triggered. This means that some allergies are seasonal, like plant allergies that only occur when the pollen count of a specific variety is high, while others have to be managed all year long.
People with a family history of allergies are most likely to suffer from them, but it’s not altogether uncommon for children to have allergies even if no one else in the family does. One can be allergic to nearly anything, though some allergens are more common than others. Some allergies also tend to elicit more severe reactions than others, as well, such as bee sting or nut allergies.
- Outdoors: insect bites or stings, plant pollen
- Indoors: animal hair or fur, dust mites, mold
- Irritants: cigarette smoke, perfume, car exhaust, detergents, latex
- Foods: peanuts and other nuts and nut products; eggs; milk and other dairy products
- Medications: penicillin, sulfa-based drugs
Allergies can manifest in a variety of ways, from simple annoyances to serious threats. Some symptoms tend to pair with certain allergens. For example, rashes tend to accompany detergent or latex allergies, coughing and a runny nose generally correspond with animal and pollen allergies, and anaphylaxis is a common reaction to insect venom or certain foods. Of course, virtually an allergy, if severe enough, can result in anaphylaxis. There are several symptoms that are common across many different types of allergies.
- Rashes or hives (atopic dermatitis or eczema)
- Asthma or difficulty breathing
- Coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy eyes
- An upset stomach
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Drowsiness or feeling run down
Helping Your Child
If your believe your child may have an allergy, make an appointment with pulmonologist, preferably one with experience in pediatric allergies. Before your appointment, you should keep a diary of your child’s symptoms and any possible causes.
At your appointment, your doctor will generally recommend an allergy test called a skin prick test. This is performed by exposing the patient’s skin to approximately 70 of the most common allergies, without breaking the skin or using needles. This test is painless, though a positive test may be indicated by the appearance of small, itchy lumps and redness at the testing site.Your doctor may also prescribe medication for preventing or fighting allergic reactions. If allergen avoidance and medication prove unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots. These shots expose the patient to a controlled, increasing amount of the allergen in a safe, clinical environment to allow them to build up an immunity.