Rhinitis involves the inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose. The usual symptoms linked with rhinitis include an itchy nose, watery discharge, red eyes, sneezing and a clogged nose. Take note that there are two types of allergic rhinitis – seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and perennial allergic rhinitis.
Perennial allergic rhinitis
Children with perennial allergic rhinitis suffer from symptoms all year round and it can be easily mistaken for a persistent cold or even an all-year cold. The symptoms can manifest shortly after exposure to an allergen and often triggered by allergens present inside the house such as dander, dust mites and mold.
Additional symptoms can manifest at the late stages of the disease. Some children can develop sinusitis that can lead to pain and discomfort and occasionally infection.
Young children might be at risk for developing glue ear as a complication of sinusitis since the tubes that connect the ears and throat are within close contact and can end up clogged, resulting to ear symptoms such as pain and temporary hearing loss.
Nose bleeding can also occur with rhinitis since the lining of the nose is itchy and often scratched or rubbed. Remember that any of these symptoms should be mentioned to a doctor for proper diagnosis of the condition.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis
Seasonal allergic rhinitis in children is triggered by allergens from grasses. Even though some individuals react to one type of pollen during the peak season and then feel better later in the year, it is also possible to be sensitized to more than one type of these allergens, resulting to an extended episode of rhinitis. Nevertheless, there are a variety of treatment options for allergic rhinitis and most of the symptoms in children can be properly controlled.
Diagnosing allergic rhinitis
The diagnosis is made by doctor after taking a complete history along with examination of the interior area of the nose along with allergy testing. There are also other special examinations of the nose which might be performed such as an in-depth inspection through an endoscopy.
The medications for allergic rhinitis are effective and vital in helping improve the quality of life of the child. Based on studies, children with rhinitis might have difficulties in sleeping and become irritable or lack concentration during the daytime hours. These issues will affect the ability of the child to cope with his/her daily routine. In addition, if rhinitis is not treated, it can oftentimes progress to serious conditions including asthma.
There are some medications that work by blocking the allergic response while others work by reducing the allergen. Nasal steroid sprays and drops are highly effective in treating the inflammation caused by allergic rhinitis. Only a minimal amount of the medication is absorbed into the body, thus side effects typically linked with oral steroids are rare. It is vital to minimize exposure to allergens if possible.