Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine located in San Antonio, TX
Did you know that 40% of children and adolescents experience allergies? Though common, allergies can negatively affect your son or daughter’s quality of life, making it difficult to stay physically active or breathe easily. At KID-DOC Pediatrics in San Antonio, Texas, specializes in safe and effective allergy treatments. To schedule an appointment for your child, call the office and speak with a friendly team member or book online today.
What are allergies?
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system identifies a harmless substance, such as pollen, pet dander, or a specific food as dangerous. This triggers the production of antibodies –– proteins that neutralize pathogens.
Ultimately, the increased production of antibodies causes inflammation throughout the body. Allergies affect every child differently, but symptoms may lead to respiratory problems, digestive discomfort, skin rashes, or coughing and sneezing.
There’s no cure for allergies, but with proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment, it’s possible to manage their side-effects and symptoms.
What are the symptoms of allergies?
The symptoms of allergies vary in severity and affect everyone differently. Some children are allergic to bug bites and certain types of food; others are allergic to pollen and certain medications. Common telltale signs of allergies include:
- Itchy skin
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Swollen tongue
- Chest tightness
- Flaking or peeling skin
Most allergic reactions aren’t serious and respond well to over-the-counter treatments. However, anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency. If your son or daughter experiences a loss of consciousness or severe trouble breathing, call 911 right away.
How are allergies diagnosed?
To diagnose allergies, your child’s KID-DOC Pediatrics provider conducts a physical exam and asks you or your child about the symptoms they’re experiencing. If your child has symptoms that come and go, their KID-DOC Pediatrics provider might also ask them to keep a journal of the foods they eat, the activities they participate in, and events or actions that trigger symptoms.
The team at KID-DOC Pediatrics also recommends testing. Depending on your child’s needs, their provider might recommend:
Skin prick test
During a skin prick test, your child’s provider exposes a small area of your son or daughter’s skin to small amounts of proteins found in various allergens. If your child has an allergy, a welt or bump develops on their skin.
A blood test, also known as a specific IgE blood test, measures the level of allergy-causing antibodies in your child’s bloodstream. High levels of antibodies indicate that your son or daughter has an allergy.
How are allergies treated?
Treatment for allergies depends on the substances your child is allergic to and the severity of their symptoms. The team at KID-DOC Pediatrics usually recommends conservative measures such as allergen avoidance and over-the-counter medications like Benadryl®.
If your child’s symptoms persist or get worse, the team might recommend allergy immunotherapy. This process involves your child’s provider administering injections of purified allergen extracts.
Once the allergen extracts enter your child’s body, they work to strengthen and fortify their immune system. If your child has severe allergies, your child’s KID-DOC Pediatrics provider may also prescribe emergency epinephrine to prevent anaphylaxis.
To explore your child’s treatment options for allergies, schedule an appointment at KID-DOC Pediatrics. Call the office and speak with a friendly team member or book online today.