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Hay Fever

Allergic rhinitis (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Hay fever is the most common allergy occurring with children. Hay fever appears as itching in nose and eyes, a lot of sneezing and a running nose. Even though it is not a serious illness, hay fever can be of quite a bother. Parents can treat hay fever by avoiding pollen, use allergy medication and avoid smoke, especially in the home.

Hay fever greatly resembles a common cold but lasts much longer. Most parent suspect hay fever because of repeated prolonged ‘colds’ during the summer. In some cases, the hay fever is triggered by allergy to furry animals, dust mites and mould fungus. In those cases, the children are bothered all year round.

Hay fever appears by sudden itching in the eyes and nose plus in the throat, to a lesser degree. The itch in the eyes leads to the child rubbing them causing them to be red and more irritated. The itch in the nose results in fits of sneezing with up to 25 sneezes following each other. At the same time the nose and the eyes run with a thin fluid and the nose becomes stuffy.

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Allergy medication for hay fever can be bought over the counter. You need a prescription for a few of the remedies. If the child is mostly irritated in the eye, you use eye drops – if it is the nose, you use nasal spray. If this treatment is insufficient, you can supplement with pills or mixture.

What can you do?

It is important that the child is not exposed to what causes the allergy. It can be impossible to avid pollen entirely but indoors, the number of pollen can be reduced by keeping doors and windows closed to the room where the child sleeps. Birch in the garden can be cut down. Children allergic to pollen of grass should not be involved in cutting the grass.

Tobacco, smoke, strong scents and dust worsens hay fever. Therefore you must try to keep the child from contact with any of these things.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

If you suspect you child has hay fever. If you want to know what your child is allergic to. If the child is still bothered, despite your treatment. The doctor can prescribe medication and advise on the possibilities for vaccination against hay fever.

Contact the doctor immediately

This is never necessary.