Sneezing, congestion and a runny nose: these are all symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Children can suffer from allergic rhinitis after breathing in allergens like dust, mold or pet dander, and this can seriously affect their quality of life. Worse, allergic rhinitis can lead to painful complications such as ear infections. Here are three things parents need to now about allergies and ear infections.
What are the signs of ear infections?
If your child has an ear infection, their ear will hurt. Older children will be able to tell you that their ear hurts, while babies or young children may pull on the affected ear or cry more than they normally do. Other signs of an ear infection include a fever or fluids draining from the affected ear.
How do allergies lead to ear infections?
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis—like a stuffy or runny nose—are caused by inflammation in and around the nose. When your child breathes in allergens like pet dander or dust, their body produces chemicals that make the tissues in and around their nose swollen. This swelling doesn't just cause a stuffed-up nose, though.
The inflammation associated with allergic rhinitis can also block the eustachian tubes. These tubes connect your child's middle ears to their throat, and the role of these tubes is to drain mucus from the middle ears. Bacteria or viruses from the nose can travel into the middle ears through these tubes, and if the tubes then become blocked due to allergy-related inflammation, the bacteria or viruses will get trapped and multiply, leading to an ear infection.
How can allergy-related ear infections be prevented?
If your child suffers from allergies, it's important to keep their allergies under control. You can do this by reducing your child's exposure to allergens at home. This may involve keeping the windows closed on high-pollen count days or deep-cleaning your home to reduce mold and dust, depending on their specific allergies. If you're not sure what your child is allergic to, a simple skin prick test can be performed to determine the cause.
Their allergist or pediatrician can also prescribe medications to help control their allergies. Antihistamines are a well-known medication that can be used to control the allergic response. Some types of allergies—like pet dander allergies—can be controlled with allergy shots, also called immunotherapy.
If your child has allergic rhinitis, seek treatment for them to protect them from complications like ear infections.Share
2 June 2016
Having a daughter comes with a number of challenges. One challenge that you will one day need to tackle is determining when to introduce your daughter to the gynecologist. Do you take your daughter to the same gynecologist that you see or take her somewhere else? Do you wait until she gets her first period or do you take her in to learn about the menstrual cycle from the doctor? There is a long list of questions you likely have about introducing your daughter to the world of gynecology. Having gone through this twice myself, I have learned quite a bit and have included a lot of helpful information in my site to help other parents get through this complicated time a little easier.