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Are Your Kids Experiencing Allergies?

Are Your Kids Experiencing Allergies?

Allergies are problems of the immune system. Normally the human body defends itself against harmful things such as viruses or bacteria, but sometimes these defenses attack other things such as dust, mold or pollen.

Allergies can affect anyone but generally are more common in children. However, allergies can happen at any age, and they can come back after being in remission for many years.

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies in Kids?

An allergic reaction can happen anywhere in the body, including the skin, eyes, lining of the stomach, nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. Reactions to allergens can cause:

  • Stuffy nose, sneezing, itching or runny nose, and itching in ears or roof of the mouth
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes
  • Red, itchy, dry skin
  • Hives and itchy welts
  • Itchy rash
  • Asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing

What Causes Allergies?

There are a variety of things that can trigger a reaction. The most common triggers of allergens are:

  • Tree, grass and weed pollens
  • Molds
  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander, urine and oil from skin
  • Medicines
  • Feathers
  • Bee stings

How Are Allergies Diagnosed in Children?

To diagnose an allergy, a physician may have to do one of the following tests:

  • Skin test – This is the most common allergy test. A small amount of diluted allergen is placed on an area of the skin that has been pricked or scratched. If a person is allergic to the allergen, a small bump similar to a mosquito bite will appear. Testing for many allergens may be done at the same time, and results are available soon after the testing is done.
  • Blood test – Blood testing for allergies is an option when skin tests can’t be done. Blood tests measure the immunoglobulin E, or IgE, antibodies to certain allergens in the blood. Results tend to take longer compared to a skin test.
  • Challenge test – This type of testing is when a small amount of an allergen is given to a child by mouth or is breathed in. A challenge test is used to figure out the severity of an allergy.

Along with a test, a physician will also take a complete health history and a physical exam of a child.

How Are Allergies Treated?

Allergy treatment will depend on a child’s symptoms, age, general health and the severity of the allergy.

Archbold’s Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Center can provide testing and treatment options. For more information on the services they offer, please visit