If your child starts sneezing and getting a runny nose every time they go to play at Oakhurst Park, they may have undiagnosed allergies. In this case, it may be helpful for your child to receive an allergy test to confirm their triggers and help determine a treatment plan.
Common Allergy Symptoms
Your child’s allergies can be triggered by a variety of factors, including pollen, dust mites and certain foods. To that end, their symptoms may depend in part on what type of allergy they have. In general, common allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy eyes
- Sneezing and/or a runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Skin rashes
- Upset stomach
- Coughing and/or wheezing
- Itchy mouth
- Swelling of the lips and/or tongue
In cases of severe allergies, children may experience a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. This reaction constricts the airways and can cause shortness of breath, low blood pressure, shock and even death. It requires immediate emergency medical attention.
Impact of Allergies on Children
Even if your child’s allergies are not severe, they can still negatively impact their quality of life. Allergies that are poorly managed can interfere with:
- Quality of sleep
- Performance and attendance in school
- Overall health and mood
The Benefits and Limitations of Allergy Testing
If your child is exhibiting allergy-like symptoms that don’t resolve after a couple of weeks, discuss the possibility of allergies with their doctor. If they believe it to be a possibility, you will likely be referred to an allergist. They can perform allergy testing on your child to determine their triggers.
There are several different types of allergy testing, including:
- Skin prick test
- Intradermal test
- Blood test
- Food challenge test
The type of testing will depend on several factors including suspected allergens and the severity of your child’s symptoms.
While allergy testing can be an important tool in diagnosing and treating your child’s allergies, leading allergists stress that it should only be used to “confirm suspicion and never to look for allergies in an asymptomatic patient.”
What this means is that you should only take your child in to get allergy testing if they are exhibiting allergy symptoms, and if those symptoms cannot be explained by another cause (such as having a cold or another respiratory virus.) This helps prevent misdiagnosis and allows your child to get the appropriate treatment for their symptoms.
If you would like more information on allergy testing or wish to speak with one of our experts, call ENT of Georgia North today.