Tired Mommy - Allergy Questions Help?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Archives' started by Katie H, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. Katie H

    Katie H New Member

    Hi Tired Mommy,

    I know you have a lot of experience dealing with allergies and wondered if you would answer a few questions.... If anyone else has any feedback feel free to jump in too!

    Okay, so my daughter has basic hay feverish allergies and has since she was little. She does not seem reactive to any foods, pet dander, etc. She is on Zyrtec and Nasonex which is perscribed on our pediatrician. Anyway, recently while my husband was traveling on business I let her sleep with me as a special treat. I could not believe the snarfling, the snuffling, the congestion she had! She made more noise than my husband!! And, this is after taking her allergy medications for the night.

    It made me think maybe I should take her to a pediatric allergist to see if there is something else that would be more effective for her to take. So, the question is - what does a pediatric allergist do? Would this involve blood work, a scratch test? Are there other, stronger allergy medications they might be familiar with that a pediatrician would not? What should I expect from a visit I guess is what I am asking?

    Other questions - in another post you mentioned using an air filter in your daughters room. I know there are a lot of these out there and they can be pricey. Any recommendations on brands? Places to buy them?

    Also, you mentioned dust mite covers for pillows and matresses. Can you buy these at a Linens and Things type store? Or is it something that is a speciality that needs to be ordered online??

    Sorry for all the questions! Thanks for any feedback/help.

    Katie
     
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    You want to cover all bases and not just allergies. A trip to an ENT is in order to check tonsils, adenoids, sinuses, etc. We went with the assumption that my difficult child was suffering from allergies for almost two years before I got suspicious and asked for RAST (blood testing) for a few common items plus an overall count which would indicate whether it was actually allergies. Surprise, surprise, after all that time of treating with Extendryl, Zyrtec, Claratin, Nasonex (and sometimes Tylenol) the boy didn't have allergies after all. What he had was a chronic low grade sinus infection and he needed to be treated by an ENT and when that didn't work he needed sinus surgery which cleared things right up...for awhile at least. The doctors didn't believe me at first but his typical route is to have a cold and for the sniffling to improve but not all the way and for that to be the onset of the infection.

    Doctors usually try alternative medications before going to stronger medications or higher doses.
     
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi Katie!
    First off, I've got to agree with SRL about having difficult child checked by a good ENT, enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids as well as acute sinusitis can often mimic allergies.

    The allergist will decide whether she needs RAST testing or scratch testing. Duckie testing has actually been an experimental form of scratch testing called provocation and neutralization (experimental means not covered by insurance in this case, lol!). My understanding (which very well may be incorrect) is that RAST is not quite as sensitive as scratch testing but is an acceptable form of testing of those with "typical" allergic reactions. Zyrtec and Nasonex are pretty commonly prescribed allergy medications, I doubt anything stronger would be offered.

    The brand of air filter we use is Holmes, we've had these for about five years. That's long before we knew the extent of Duckie's allergies.

    I do know they are an excellent brand as my ex-boyfriend used to do "before and after" air testing as they developed new products. He was highly impressed with their results. Air cleaners/filters are expensive, but they do help reduce the allergic load on a person. You may want to avoid the ionizing models as there is some controversy over smog-like conditions that may develop in your home from their continued use. I don't know how accurate the studies are.

    As for dust mite covers, I bought the mattress cover from Kmart and the pillow covers from Walmart. They are zippered envelope covers that prevent any dust mites that are already inside the mattress or pillows from getting out. You also want to make sure that your pillows are synthetic rather than feather.

    Other tips include removing wall-to-wall carpeting, removing all or most plush animals from her bed, frequent bedding washings, keeping her window closed and keeping pets out of her room.

    You also want her to bathe or shower most days to remove pollens and spores, wash her outerwear often, don't wear shoes in the house, keep your indoor humidity between 40 and 60%, and "wash" her nose twice daily with a nasal saline solution such as 'Lil Noses.
    Good luck, keep us posted!
     
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I would have her checked by the allergist to make sure it is allergies. My younger daughter was diagnosis'ed with allergies by her pediatrician due to frequent ear infections. When I took her for allergy testing, they did the scratch test and she didn't react to a single one (except the control one). I took her to an ENT and he gave her some drops for her ears and she hasn't really had the problem since. She had been on Claritin or Zyrtec for a few years before that.
     
  5. Katie H

    Katie H New Member

    Hi all,

    Thanks to everyone for the good information and advice (as always!). I am going to print out the responses and go over them with my husband. I think we will definitely take her to an ENT.

    You all are the best!

    Katie
     
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