We all love to see trees, grasses and flowers start to flourish in spring. But that beauty can mean the beginning of months of misery for allergy sufferers, grown-ups and kids alike.
If you have allergies, your body releases histamine when you inhale plant pollens. This triggers the sneezes, runny noses and itchy eyes of allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. Hay fever symptoms tend to be worse on dry, warm, windy days, when pollens waft on the breeze and into sensitive noses.
Some sources of relief, including antihistamines are available over the counter. If your allergies are so bothersome that over-the-counter options don’t help, see an allergist for treatment options.
You can take steps to curb your allergies with or without medications. Use these tips to stay sneeze-free this spring and summer.
If your kids have allergies, all the above tips apply for them, too. But if you’re not sure your child does have an allergy, pediatric allergist Brian Schroer, MD, says signs to look for include:
“Some kids with mild allergy symptoms may respond very to over-the-counter, long acting non-sedating antihistamines,” says Dr. Schroer. “Look for loratadine, tyrosine and fexofenadine, all of which come in kids’ formulations and are indicated down to very young ages.”
Dr. Schroer says if over-the-counter medications don’t work for your kids, talk to your pediatrician.