So many times, you have wondered, when you have to fill up that medical form or a physical fitness form at school if you have an allergy. Or maybe you already know that you have an allergy to something but you don’t know yet what to do. So Children First spoke to Dr. Neeraj Gupta, Consultant, Paediatric Allergy Specialist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi to find out answers for you…
Managing your Allergy!
First of all, you must be well aware of the functioning of your body. You need to know how your body functions and what it likes and what it doesn’t!
So, what is an allergy? In simple terms, it is our body’s immediate and persistent abnormal response to a foreign substance or allergens that fades away once the external stimulus is removed.
Allergies are common and most of you may have experienced them. Managing them properly can have a significant impact on your daily living, physical, mental, and social health.
How does it happen? Due to the inherent properties of our immune system, few children become symptomatic while others are normal even in presence of same allergens. Most of the childhood allergies are temporary and children tend to outgrow them if timely intervention is taken.
What could lead to it? Allergens can be present in the surrounding air we breathe, the food we eat, and on our skin surface. Allergies can have diurnal as well as seasonal variations. Even small changes in the environment, pollution levels, pollen, and dust content can trigger an allergic reaction.
What are its symptoms? Allergic symptoms can vary from simple persistent headache to cough, cold, sneezing, wheezing (whistling sounds from the chest), vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, watering, itching, and redness of eyes, itchy skin rash and even life-threatening anaphylactic shock if not timely treated. Young children may complain of abdominal discomfort or nausea after milk intake or itchy skin rashes after egg or groundnut intake. Sometimes, there is repeated cough and breathing difficulty requiring nebulizers or inhalers.
What do I do if I see any of the symptoms? Whenever you have any of these symptoms, you need to talk to your paediatrician or allergy doctor. At your end, you should play outdoor games more often and do regular exercises to improve your lung strength. If you have any chest symptoms, follow the doctor’s advice, and take regular medications including inhalers or nebulisers. You should use a mask when going outdoors in dusty weather. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water to reduce contamination. Keep your pets out of the living room and wash them at least once weekly. Reduce indoor pollution by avoiding mosquito repellents.
Your allergy can be controlled in a better way by taking these few precautions and it leads to better concentration in studies and sports.