Allergy can affect the many body systems. The most commonly affected are breathing system (nose, sinuses, lungs), skin, eyes and digestive system (stomach and intestines). In many children multiple form of allergies are seen together.
Allergy in the nose is called as Allergic Rhinitis. The symptoms are sneezing, itching, running nose and blocked nose which happens on a regular basis. Nasal allergy can be seasonal for a few months in a year or it can be persistent throughout the year. Nasal allergy can lead to poor impact on the quality of life of a child leading to poor attention, reduced school performance and inadequate sleep.
Eye allergy is called as allergic conjunctivitis or spring cattrah. The eyes can turn red and become very itchy. Similar to nasal allergy, eye allergy can be seasonal for a few months in a year or it can be persistent throughout the year. Eye allergy can be very distressing for the child. Usually nasal and eye symptoms occur together and called as allergic rhino-conjunctivitis.
Skin allergy is called as atopic dermatitis or eczema. It is the earliest manifestation of allergy and usually starts in infants. It usually goes off in childhood but in severe cases can persist into adult age. Eczema leads to a very dry and itchy skin. It can get flares when the skin turns red and sore. Children with atopic dermatitis can get frequent skin infections.
Chest allergy is known as asthma. Other names for chest allergy although incorrect are bronchitis, hyper-reactive airways and WALRI.
Children with asthma can get persistent cough, wheezing and breathlessness. Some children get symptoms all times in a year while other get it only in a particular season. Children with asthma get repeated asthma attacks or flares where cough increases and child finds it difficult to breathe.
Children with food allergy get back reactions to the implicated food. These reactions are usually in form of skin hives or urticaria, swollen lips and tongue (angioedema) and sometimes get a fatal reaction called as anaphylaxis. In anaphylaxis child can develop weakness, feeble pulses, low blood pressure, headache, dizziness and severe difficulty in breathing. The child can also get vomiting and loose motions in case of food allergy.
Children with allergy need proper evaluation and management!!