According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies affect more than 50 million Americans each year. So, we talked to Dr. Mark Guy to answer a few questions about the country’s most common disease.
Ronald Mark Guy, MD
West River ENT Clinic
West River Allergy
Do children get environmental allergies?
Answer is yes. Children are sometimes affected even more significantly than adults. Common symptoms include itchy eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing and reactive airway disease or asthma. We can evaluate children 2 years of age and older. They can be skin scratch tested or we can do RAST testing by blood draw. They are usually treated with antihistamines or oral drops without shots if they are younger. Older children can receive immunotherapy by weekly injection.
Are environmental allergies dangerous?
Answer is yes. Environmental allergies can influence the respiratory system. It is not uncommon for people with asthma to have an allergy attack or severe bout of wheezing. This can be dangerous if not treated in a timely manner. Also, peanut or different food allergens can cause anaphylactic reactions. This is very serious.
How do I find out if my child has allergies?
Answer: Visit a professional clinic for a thorough history, physical exam and allergy testing. These are the important steps for finding out if you do have allergy and how you can deal with the symptoms.
What can be done for allergy symptoms?
Answer: Avoidance is an important part of treatment of allergy. When you learn what you are allergic to there are many strategies that can help reduce the effect of the antigen in your everyday environment. Also, medications are important in treating allergy and these include steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants and Singulair. Finally, if medications are not enough we can offer shot-less allergy oral drops for treatment or weekly allergy injections as a form of immunotherapy to desensitize you.