Childhood Rhinitis is a disease of the upper airway that is characterized by a runny and/or blocked nose and/or sneezing occurring for 2 or more days and lasting more than an hour for most days. Another symptom can include itchy eyes.
Childhood Rhinitis is not a life threatening condition, however it can affect the child’s quality of life. Some examples of quality of life effects are:
- Snoring – which overall affects the child’s sleep as they don’t typically get a good night sleep when snoring
- Recurrent ear infections
- Breathing through the mouth
- Poor performance in school due to being sick and missing school days
Treatments for allergic rhinitis is determined by your child’s physician. Some of the treatment options available are:
- Avoidance of the allergens
- Antihistamines – these will help decrease the release of histamine which in turn could decrease the symptoms of itching, sneezing and runny nose. Please keep in mind that Antihistamines can cause drowsiness
- Use of a non-sedating antihistamine such as Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra – using these are like using antihistamines except without the drowsiness
- Anti-inflammatory nasal sprays – will help decrease swelling in the nose
- Corticosteroid nasal spray – best when used before symptoms start but can also be used during a flare-up
- Decongestant – Decongestants help by making the blood vessels in the nose small thus allowing for decreased congestion.
- Anti-leukotrienes – these help to decrease congestion in the chest and nose and are usually given orally.
As always: Consult your child’s health care provider to determine the proper dosage for your child and the best advice to treating childhood rhinitis and it’s care.
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