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Allergic rhinitis - what to ask your doctor - child

Definition

Allergies to pollen, dust mites, and animal dander are also called allergic rhinitis. Hay fever is another word often used for this problem. Symptoms are usually a watery, runny nose and itching in your eyes and nose.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your child’s doctor or nurse to help you take care of your child's allergies.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about allergic rhinitis - child; Hay fever - what to ask your doctor - child; Allergies - what to ask your doctor - child

Questions

What is my child allergic to? Will my child's symptoms be worse inside or outside? At what time of year will my child’s symptoms feel worse?

Does my child need allergy tests? Does my child need allergy shots?

What sort of changes should I make around the home?

  • Can we have a pet? In the house or outside? How about in the bedroom?
  • Is it okay for anyone to smoke in the house? How about if my child is not in the house at the time?
  • Is it okay for me to clean and vacuum when my child is in the house?
  • Is it okay to have carpets in the house? What type of furniture is best to have?
  • How do I get rid of dust and mold in the house? Do I need to cover my child's bed or pillows?
  • Can my child have stuffed animals?
  • How do I know if I have cockroaches? How do I get rid of them?
  • Can I have a fire in my fireplace or wood burning stove?

Is my child taking their allergy medicines the right way?

  • What drugs should my child be taking every day?
  • Which drugs should my child take when their allergy symptoms get worse? Is it okay to use these drugs every day?
  • Can I buy these medicines at the store myself, or do I need a prescription?
  • What are the side effects of these medicines? For what side effects should I call the doctor?
  • How will I know when my child’s inhaler is getting empty? Is my child using the inhaler the right way? Is it safe for my child to be using an inhaler with corticosteroids in it? What are the long-term side effects?

Will my child have wheezing or asthma?

What shots or vaccinations does my child need?

How do I find out when smog or pollution is worse in our area?

What does my child's school or daycare need to know about allergies? How do I make sure my child can use the medicines at school?

Are there times when my child should avoid being outside?

Does my child need tests or treatments for allergies? What should I do when I know my child will be around something that makes their allergy symptoms worse?

References

Lund, VJ, Baroody FM, Naclerio RM. PART 4: Sinus, rhinology, and allergy/immunology. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 40.

Orban NT, Saleh H, Durham SR. Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. In: Adkinson F, Busse W, Bochner B, et al, eds. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice, 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 55.


Review Date: 2/6/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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