Does My Child Have an Allergy?
Your daughter feels nauseated and exhausted after eating lunch. You notice that her lips seem bit puffy. It has happened before, but this episode seems worse. What's going on? At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, your board-certified otolaryngologist can examine your child for allergies. The body's hypersensitive reaction to food eaten, substances touched or things inhaled, your child's allergy can be identified and controlled.
Why do allergies happen?
Our bodies have immune systems which guard us against illnesses such as colds, flu, skin infections and a whole host of problems. Unfortunately, the immune system sometimes can be overactive, attacking substances which, to other people, are perfectly harmless.
When an allergic substance, or allergen, contacts a sensitive adult or child, that person reacts with a substantial flurry of natural antibodies which release histamines. Histamines produce a variety of uncomfortable symptoms in wide-ranging severity, including:
- Stomach upset
- Facial swelling
- A cough
- Runny, itchy eyes and nose
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing
What triggers allergies?
Many children and adults suffer from allergies in various forms. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 24 million Americans suffer from noticeable allergies, and six million of that number are children.
What triggers an allergic response? Allergens can be somewhat mysterious in origin and even harder to pinpoint. For sure, the immune system plays a significant role, along with environment, heredity and even stress.
The most common groups of triggers include:
- Pet dander
- Insects (cockroaches, bees)
- Plant mold
- Food dyes and additives
- Certain fabrics
- Perfumes and scents added to soaps and cosmetics
- Some medications
Tracking down triggers and treating children's allergies in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA takes due diligence on the part of parents and your friends at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat. When you consult one of our physicians, be specific about your child's symptoms and when they occur. The doctor may advise some of the following to test for allergies:
- A food diary and elimination and challenge test Done at home, this careful strategy lists everything a child eats and then eliminates and re-introduces suspected allergens.
- RAST test This blood work analysis reveals antibodies which form in response to allergens.
- Skin allergy, or scratch, test It introduces small amounts of allergens under the skin. The doctor "reads" the body's reaction to the triggers.
- Sublingual testing This common evaluation introduces a small amount of allergen under the tongue.
Common sense says to avoid your child's known triggers. Additionally, she may benefit from sublingual medications, allergy shots and over the counter and prescription medications to alleviate symptoms. Your ENT doctor will devise an allergy care plan to help you and your child deal with allergies on a daily basis.
Find out more
As her parent, you know your daughter best. If you suspect she has allergies, please contact West Coast Ear, Nose in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA and throat for a consultation. Call today: (805) 379-9646.