Symptoms of hay fever in children appear very much similar to those of flu. Identifying these symptoms can help in proper diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Does your child suffer from a cold and clogged nose when playing outdoors? Does this condition occur in a specific season? Or is it severe when going outdoors early morning? You may be under the impression that your child frequently suffers from viral infections so, you look for ways to get rid of it. However, no treatment is effective, and the child still suffers from the symptoms. In that case, there may be a possibility that your kid is suffering from hay fever. Cough and nasal congestion are the most common hay fever symptoms in children. Let us take a look at hay fever and its symptoms in detail.
What is Hay Fever
Hay fever (also known as allergic rhinitis) is a condition caused due to an allergic reaction to pollen and dander. Although the symptoms of this condition are similar to that of viral infection; it varies a lot from viral infection in terms of causes, risk factors, treatment and preventive measures. Hay fever is a fairly common condition, but is usually not observed in children until they are 6-7 years old. The exact cause of the condition is not known. The condition occurs when the body triggers off an immune response when exposed to pollen and other allergens. However, it is believed that if the person suffers from asthma, is exposed to secondhand smoke, or is in close company of pets like cats and dogs for a long time, he may suffer from the condition.
Hay Fever Symptoms
It should be noted that although the condition is known as hay fever, it is not a type of fever. In fact, fever is not observed at all when suffering from this condition. The symptoms appear immediately when the child is exposed to the allergen, and can be mild to severe. As mentioned above, the symptoms may worsen at a specific time of the year, like in the summer or fall when the amount of pollen increases. Similarly, they can also aggravate even if the child remains indoors, but is exposed to dust mites and pet dander. The following are the hay fever signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Watery and itchy eyes and nose
- Frequent sneezing
- Postnasal drip
- Bloodshot eyes
- Itching of the soft palate
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Loss of sense of taste and smell
In severe cases, other symptoms like intolerance to light, nose bleeding, inflammation of the white of the eyes, etc. are also observed. One of the most important points to note is that the symptoms of hay fever appear as long as the child is exposed to the allergen. While, on the other hand, the symptoms of viral infection appear only for a few days. This will help in quick identification of the condition.
If you observe any of these symptoms in your child that do not subside for a long time, you should consult the doctor. The only way of treating hay fever is to avoid the allergy altogether. The doctor will also prescribe medication to treat the condition. However, one needs to follow preventive measures to avoid the symptoms in future. Avoiding being outdoors at the time when there is a lot of pollen outside, avoiding exposure to dust, keeping you distance from furry pets, no secondhand smoke, using air conditioners with filters, using vacuum cleaners to clean the house regularly, etc. are some of the preventive measures that can help in alleviating the symptoms and getting rid of the condition.
It is essential to identify the symptoms as early as possible, so that you can adopt the preventive measures to reduce the discomfort caused due hay fever. The symptoms will subside completely if the allergens are identified and avoided altogether. Take care!