HAY FEVER(Allergic Rhinitis)
HAY FEVER (Allergic Rhinitis)
DESCRIPTIONHay fever is an allergic response to airborne allergens that affects the eyes and upper respiratory tract. The nose, eyes, sinuses, throat, mouth, and lungs are involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition, medications, and treatment for complications or severe illness.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSItching, watery eyes.
Frequent sneezing; stuffy nose with a clear discharge.
Itching in the roof of the child's mouth.
CAUSESPollen from weeds, flowers, grasses, and trees.
Tobacco smoke and other air pollutants.
An allergic sensitivity in your child to airborne allergens such as:
RISK FACTORSMedical history of allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma.
Spring and autumn. Most plants produce pollen during these seasons.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Change furnace or air-conditioner filters often.
Encourage your child to wear a filter face mask during exposure to allergens.
Install an air-purification unit in your home's heating and air-conditioning system.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory tests such as a blood count and allergy skin tests (See Glossary).
Sleeping difficulty and chronic fatigue.
Symptoms can be controlled with treatment.
HOME CAREEliminate as many allergens in your child's environment as possible. Prepare your child's bedroom as follows:
Empty the room of furniture, rugs, or carpet, and drapes or curtains.
Clean the walls, woodwork, and floors with a damp mop. Wax the floor.
Take the mattress and box springs outside and vacuum or clean them.
Cover the box springs, mattress, and pillows with plastic covers.
Use only rugs that can be washed once a week.
Use bedclothes that can be washed often, such as cotton sheets, washable mattress pads, and synthetic fiber blankets. Don't use chenille bedspreads, quilts, or comforters.
Use wood or plastic chairs. Don't used stuffed chairs.
Use plastic curtains, if possible. Dust them daily.
Use a vacuum cleaner, damp rags, and a damp or oiled mop to clean the child's bedroom thoroughly once a week.
Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible.
Don't let the child handle objects that are very dusty, such as books or stored clothing.
Don't keep stuffed animals or toys in the house.
Remove all pets (except fish) from the house.
MEDICATIONAntihistamines, decongestants, cortisone eye drops or nasal spray, cortisone tablets (severe cases only), or cromolyn nasal spray. These medications relieve the child's symptoms, but they don't cure hay fever.
Desensitization injections for known allergens.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
To reduce the child's allergic response, your doctor may prescribe:
DIET & FLUIDS
Your child should avoid foods that cause allergic reactions.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes. This condition is not contagious.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has severe symptoms of hay fever that are interfering with normal activities.
Signs of infection appear, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, or thick, discolored nasal discharge. A sinus infection may be complicating the child's allergy.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.