Allergic Rhinitis in Children

Nasal obstruction, nasal flow, nose itching, sneeze and lacrimation are symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

In children with allergic rhinitis beyond nasal obstruction and nasal flow asthma, sinusitis, liquid mass in ears, polyp in nose, dermatitis in skin conjunctivitis in eye are also observed.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Rhinitis is an illness defined with minimum 1 hour lasting sneeze, nasal flow, nasal obstruction and nose mucosa inflammation. In allergic rhinitis immuneglobulin called lgE makes an inflammation triggered by seasonal or yearlong allergens like dust, pollen, animal feather. Allergic reaction starts with the entrance of allergen which normally does not make a reaction to the body. lgE makes inflammation in nose mucosa by triggering the cells giving allergic reaction like eosinophil and mast cell and agents like cytokine and chemokines. Then, complaints of the patient emerge.

Early diagnosis is essential in allergic rhinitis.

The main problem about allergic rhinitis is that patients do not pay enough attention and this situation causes delay in treatment. The symptoms and the problems caused by the illness is not cared enough by patients, patient relatives and even by medical staff. Treatment is not completed totally and because of the continuing symptoms social and academic success of children is affected in a negative way.

The most common seen chronic illness in children is allergic rhinitis.

Daily life is negatively affected by sleepiness, tiredness, restriction of daily activities, decreas in school productivity, distortion in learning process, insufficiency feeling caused by continuous medication. It is the most common chronic illness seen in children. It affects both physical and mental situation.

What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

Nasal obstruction, nasal flow, nose itching and sneezing are the main symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Tiredness, throat itching, post-nasal drainage, lacrimation, anosmia, cough, loss of appetite and nose bleeding can be also seen beyond these symptoms. It is categorized as seasonal and yearlong or slightly and severe. Seasonal rhinitis is caused by tree, grass, grass pollens and fungus. It is more commonly seen in spring season because of the pollens. Sneezing and nose flow are observed. Severity of the illness does not change in perenial type which lasts for a yearlong. Home dust is the most common cause of this illness. Commonly, nose flow and post-nasal drainage symptoms are observed. The main problem about allergic rhinitis in children is that asthma, sinusitis, liquid mass in ears, polip in nose, dermatitis in skin conjunctivitis in eye are also observed beyond nasal obstruction and nasal flow. Sleep disorder, learning disability, attention deficit, loss of life quality and dental problems caused by mouth breathing are also seen with this illness. This illness usually appears after 2 years old. Generally, allergic children are bleary-eyed because of nasal obstruction and their mouths are in open position because of mouth breathing.

How is it diagnosed?

For diagnosis nose, ear, mouth and throat are examined carefully and patient story is taken. In case of need, allergic tests done in skin and blood, lgE measures in blood, breathing tests and imaging technics are used. It should be investigated in a detailed way in order not to skip another illness intervening with allergic rhinitis.

How is treatment planned?

First method used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis is the avoidance and protection from the allergen. Children should be protected from home dust, pollens, mold, animals causing allergy, foods triggering allergy polluted air like cigarette smoke. Second method is vaccine – It is used in the allergens that can be determined. Vaccine is applied with medication. Syrups called decongestan and antihistaminic, nose drops with cortisone and antileukotriene are the most common used medicines. It is essential to do follow-up of the children during whole year especially when the illness gets severe. By the follow-up the illness can be prevented before causing complications after getting severe. It also helps to protect child’s academic success and life quality.