Viruses, bacteria, allergens — there’s any number of small organisms that can make children feel bad. Often the hardest part of treatment is determining the true cause of your child’s illness. For instance, is the latest ear infections the result of a “bug” going around day care or is grass pollen triggering an allergy?
Compounding the situation, allergies manifest themselves in many different ways. Of course, everyone knows that allergies can cause sniffles, watery eyes and sneezing. But here’s a list of other common, though often undiagnosed allergy symptoms in kids:
- Frequent ear infections
- Sinus headaches
- Nasal polyps
- Conjunctivitis (eye irritation)
- Skin rashes and eczema
- Mental problems such as confusion, slow thinking, depression and forgetfulness
- Respiratory effects including endless colds, chronic cough, recurrent bronchitis
- ADHD (Attention Deficit / Hyperactive Disorder)
That’s right, allergies can even trigger ADHD. So, what do you do? The first step is a full allergy evaluation by a qualified medical provider. An allergy test alone — even a skin test, the gold standard — is not enough; it can show that your child is sensitive to an allergen but not determine if that is causing symptoms. Your provider should conduct a full health history. The results, in conjunction with your answers to when and where your child exhibits symptoms, can help determine if his or her maladies are allergies or something else.
One key to remember is that if your child’s ailments come and go regularly, or if they stay around constantly, there’s a good chance allergies are to blame. If they’re “one and done,” it may be just the cold going around. When in doubt, ask your provider for a full allergy evaluation. To find an AllerVision-affiliated doctor who is qualified to do this, click here.