Hay-fever (pollen allergy)

Children’s Hay-Fever Treatment In London

We understand that hay-fever allergies can be challenging for parents to deal with. This is why our team is on hand to make the process more manageable, giving you the support and advice you need to treat your child effectively. 

What Causes Hay-Fever In Children?

Hay-fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a common condition that affects the nose, eyes, throat and ears. It affects children allergic to pollen and the condition is most common throughout the spring and summer, as this is when seed plants are released into the wind. Symptoms usually occur from 5 years of age and peak in the teenage years. Some children can have symptoms earlier than 5 years of age, but it is not usually present in infants. 

Although seasonal allergic rhinitis is prevalent, the condition can occur all year round. This is known as perennial allergic rhinitis. The condition can be complex as multiple types of pollen exist, such as tree, grass, weed pollen and moulds. This allergic condition is often more common than parents think, affecting up to 30% of children in the UK. 

Symptoms Of Hay-Fever In Children

There are several common symptoms of hay-fever in children that are easy to identify, this includes:

  • Itching eyes/nose
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Blocked nose 
  • Throat clearing /snorting

If you are a parent who suffers from hay-fever, you will notice that the symptoms are generally the same in adults as in children. Although the symptoms are similar, their severity can vary. Some children will show no signs of the symptoms listed above, and hay-fever will not drastically impact their lives. Unfortunately, others can be severely affected by the condition and may need treatment.

When To Seek Paediatric Help

Most children can ease their hay-fever symptoms with over-the-counter medication. If you find over-the-counter medication doesn’t work, you should seek advice from a medical professional, like our support team here at Children’s Allergy Doctors. Children who suffer from additional allergic symptoms like asthma will often find their hayfever can be more serious. Therefore, paediatric help is advised. Even without asthma, the condition can be debilitating. Some children’s ongoing symptoms can make their school and personal life challenging. Therefore, we recommend identifying any pollen triggers that affect your child to help them with allergen avoidance and to find suitable treatment options. 

Children’s Hay-Fever Testing

If you suspect your child has a potential hay-fever allergy, you should seek medical assistance. They will likely arrange some allergy tests to help them make a confident diagnosis. 

The most common test used is a skin prick test or specific IgE blood test. The skin prick test involves putting a small amount of the allergen on your child’s skin to see if this leads to a tiny wheal. If a blood sample is taken, usually from the inside of your child’s elbow. The sample is then checked for allergens that may be causing the reaction. Both tests can identify which types of pollen your child is sensitive to. Medical professionals can then work to treat it. 

Children’s Hay-Fever Treatment

Although there is no cure for hay-fever, various treatments can help your child manage their symptoms to give them some relief. If you can identify the type of pollen your child is allergic to, you should actively help them avoid contact with it. Your doctor may also prescribe your child medication to help relieve symptoms, such as saline and steroid nose sprays. These are effective at treating symptoms such as a runny, blocked nose. Non-drowsy antihistamines can also help with itchy eyes and nose. Anti-allergy eye drops are also useful for itchy/sore eyes. 

Immunotherapy is available for those who suffer badly from hay-fever, to the point where it makes daily life challenging. This long-term treatment exposes your child to small amounts of allergen through the mouth. This helps them gradually build up a tolerance to it. 

Managing Your Child’s Hay-Fever

We take hay-fever management seriously here at Children’s Allergy Doctors. Our support team is on hand to offer parents guidance on ways they can manage their child’s hay-fever symptoms. To manage your child’s hay-fever effectively, we recommend:

  • Brushing off your children’s clothes or encouraging them to get changed and have a shower when they get home if they have been playing outside. 
  • Dressing your child in pollen-protective accessories such as wraparound sunglasses. This will prevent pollen from getting into their eyes. 
  • Rubbing Vaseline around your child’s nostrils to trap pollen and prevent it going inside the nose.
  • Keeping the windows closed as much as possible during the spring and summer seasons, when the pollen count is highest.

Long-Term Effects Of Hay-Fever On Your Child

If hay-fever is left untreated, it can lead to various upper respiratory issues, which can be particularly difficult for children with asthma. In some cases, persistent symptoms can lead to the development of long-term conditions such as sinusitis. However, this is not common.

Parents can seek comfort in knowing that hay-fever is not generally classed as a dangerous condition. Most children suffering from hay-fever will find that the condition improves over time. We offer a wide range of services here at Children’s Allergy Doctors to help them better manage their condition. If you would like to know more about the services we provide, such as hay-fever management, don’t hesitate to book an appointment today via our website.