Allergies are a common but potentially serious problem that affects more than 50 million Americans. If your child regularly experiences nasal congestion, an upset stomach, or itchy skin, allergies may be to blame. At Manchester Pediatric Associates, the team of experienced pediatricians provides comprehensive allergy care for children of all ages. To make an appointment for your child at the practice in South Windsor, Torrington, or Tolland, Connecticut, call the nearest office today or schedule online.
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system identifies a harmless material, like pollen or pet hair, as a potentially harmful invader. When this occurs, it triggers the production of antibodies –– proteins that fight off pathogens. The increase in antibodies causes an allergic reaction, resulting in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
For some children, allergies are a minor annoyance that responds to over-the-counter medication; for others, they produce a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
Symptoms of allergies include:
If your child has a food allergy, they might also experience a swollen tongue, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes allergies, but genetics are thought to play a role. For example, if your parents or grandparents had allergies, you’re more likely to pass them on to your children. That doesn’t necessarily mean your child will be allergic to the same substances, but it does mean they’ll be more susceptible.
Some of the most common allergens include:
Your child might also experience allergies to materials like latex or nickel.
To diagnose allergies, your child’s Manchester Pediatric Associates provider asks detailed questions about their symptoms, conducts a physical exam, and reviews their health history.
They might also order specialized tests, including:
During a skin test, your child’s skin is exposed to several proteins found in potential allergens. If your child is allergic to a particular substance, a hive forms on their skin.
A blood test analyzes the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in your child’s blood. IgE is a type of antibody that triggers an allergic reaction. The higher the levels of IgE, the more likely it is that your child has allergies.
Treatment of allergies depends on the type and the severity of your child’s symptoms. The team at Manchester Pediatric Associates might recommend:
Ultimately, the goal is to reduce your child’s symptoms so they can live a happy, healthy, and productive life.
To learn more about the treatment of allergies, make an appointment for your child at Manchester Pediatric Associates by calling the nearest office today or scheduling online.