Each spring we at Growing Child Pediatrics get questions about allergies. This makes complete sense. After all, many children wrestle with allergies, but most of us have never studied the inner workings of allergic reactions. Try understanding these four keys about allergies to learn how to better serve your child this spring.
The Raleigh-Durham Triangle really is one of the worst regions of the entire country for allergies.
While the yellow clouds of pollen that bombard our region every spring may have given this away, we really are in a bad location for allergies. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main point is that allergies may be impacting your family.
Your body produces more than 30 chemicals in response to allergens.
When different people come in contact with different allergens (mold, pet dander, dust mites, etc.), their bodies can produce more than 30 different chemicals. These chemicals each have different effects on people.
For example, most people know that if you have allergies, an antihistamine can help resolve some of your symptoms. This is because histamine is one of these more than 30 chemicals your body may produce. If you have a runny nose (which histamine can cause), and you take an antihistamine, you may find that your symptoms decrease significantly. The histamine in your system is being addressed by the medication. However, if you are experiencing congestion (which histamine does not cause), taking an antihistamine may not address all of your symptoms. You may need to look at other options with your pediatrician for treating your allergies at that point.
Indoor and Outdoor allergies are both seasonal.
Many patients don’t know this, but both indoors and outdoor allergens have seasons. During the spring you have probably guessed that many outdoor allergens are in season. Yet some allergens, like dust mites, are actually in season during the winter months. We close up the house and turn on the heat, and that means that dust mites can flare up.
Current allergy tests are more appropriately sensitive than some older allergy tests.
The modern blood tests that Growing Child Pediatrics uses in their various locations are fantastic. New technology developments in recent years mean that we now are able to test for allergies in a way that gives great results. Consider the following example:.
If you were to come in to get an allergy to grass tested in past years, your test would have likely tested for 4-6 kinds of grass. However, the tests were so specific that only if you were allergic to that strain of grass would the test be positive. If you were allergic to a ‘cousin’ kind of grass it would be negative. But the current test that Growing Child Pediatrics uses would show allergy to some of the similar grasses that would have tested negative in the past. Here, less specific is better so that we can better serve your allergy needs.
So, how do we address your child’s allergies?
Next week, we’ll help you think through a good action plan for making progress in treating your family’s allergies. Until then, feel free to comment below: what other allergy questions do you have?