How To Spot The Signs Of Hayfever
Hayfever is a seasonal allergy that affects the nose, eyes, throat and ears. It usually peaks during the spring and summer months when the amount of pollen in the atmosphere is at its highest.
Hayfever is the body’s way of reacting to pollen which is the allergen in the case of hayfever. Some people are affected by hayfever all year round but for the majority of people, it is a seasonal allergy. If it persists all year round then the allergen may not be pollen.
Common symptoms of hayfever include a blocked and stuffy nose, headaches and regular bouts of sneezing. One of the most frustrating symptoms tends to be in the form of an itch. The roof of the mouth, ears and throat can feel very itchy. The itch can affect the eyes too. They can become swollen, red and watery at certain parts of the day making the child or adult look as though they are having an allergic reaction, which technically they are.
Hayfever can affect a person’s day to day life in a number of important ways. Sleep may be disturbed which can lead to exhaustion throughout the day. This can impacta child at school or extracurricular activities and can make getting through the workday extremely difficult for an adult.
The sinuses are also affected by hayfever making a person more vulnerable to sinus infections. If a person suffers from asthma it can make it more difficult to manage and worsen the symptoms. On top of this, a child at school may find it difficult to concentrate as their itchy, swollen eyes make it difficult to focus.
While hayfever tends to be a reaction to pollen it can also be the body’s response to other particles in the atmosphere. Dust mites, animal hair and cigarette smoke can trigger the very same symptoms. Your doctor may suggest a skin prick test which will provide them with information regarding substances that your child may be allergic to.
In some cases, a blood test may be necessary to make a diagnosis as it can show the presence of an antibody that the body produces when it displays a reaction or allergy to pollen.
If you suspect that your child may be experiencing hayfever it is a good idea to speak to your GP. They will be able to rule out any other possible causes and offer the best advice on how to manage it for your child. In some cases, a child may have an underlying infection that may be displaying the same symptoms as hayfever.
Hayfever can be managed effectively but there is no specific cure. The focus will usually be on managing and reducing the effects of the symptoms that come along with it. In some cases, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference, particularly in cases where the reaction is due to dust or animal hair for example. Reducing your child’s contact with these things can greatly reduce the reactions they are having.
Your doctor may suggest using a form of medication to relieve some of the symptoms associated with hayfever. There are a number of child-safe antihistamines which can be very effective and are specifically non-drowsy.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.