Allergic Rhinitis

Paediatric Otolaryngologist Havas' Room

Is your child suffering from Allergic Rhinitis?

We would like to help you understand more about "Allergic Rhinitis in Children". Online research, however, is not an effective way to help your child. Make sure you bring your him/her to see the best ENT specialist!

Professor Havas is one of the few specialists who has post-fellowship training in Paediatrics, leading university affiliations and public hospital appointments. He was an appointed Visiting Otolaryngologist at Sydney Children's Hospital. If you want to bring your child to see him, please give us a call or use the "Book an Appointment" form after you get a referral letter from your local doctor.

What is Allergic Rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis, together with post-nasal obstruction due to adenoid hypertrophy, is the most common cause of blocked nose in children. It is a condition characterized by inflammatory swelling of the nasal mucus membrane. Clinical diagnosis is based on the presence of symptoms such as; itching, sneezing, blockage or discharge.

Blocked nose for a long time is not good, because rather that breathing warm, filtered humidified air, children breath cold non-filtered non-humidified air which irritates their airways. In addition, long periods of time with a mouth-open posture affect how your face and teeth grow and develop.

Most allergic rhinitis in children is perennial, and is driven by hypersensitivity to house dust mite.

Management of Allergic Rhinitis in Children

Allergic Rhinitis in Children

Most of the exposure to house dust mite occurs in children’s beds.

By way of simple prophylaxis, we suggest the following:

  • Reduce the number of fluffy toys in the room.
  • Wash all bed linen in hot rather than cold water.
  • Consider getting impermeable pillowslip covers, mattress covers and doona covers.
  • Surface dust daily.

These simple measures should cut down exposure to house dust mite by about 50 percent.

Every morning, we recommend the use of a low-flow commercially available salt-water spray.

The main stay of treating allergic rhinitis medically is the use of a low-dose water based surface acting steroid spray. These sprays, by and large, are not recommended for the manufacture for children under 12, which does cause certain problems.

Although they are widely used in the paediatric population, detailed discussion with the parent needs to be undertaken about the possible risks associated with using these sprays. The sprays have to be used regularly and the biggest problem is lack of compliance or regular use.

If the sprays are regularly used, they are not absorbed systemically, and the chance of causing thinning in the lining of the nose is less than one in one thousand. If this happens, there is spotty bleeding and the changes are reversible if the sprays stop.

The chance of the spray contributing to supra-infection with bacterial fungi is so low as to be almost incalculable.

Oral antihistamines in children, even the new and non-sedating oral anti-histamines, do not cause decongestion of the nose. They are drying agents and are useful seasonally for sneezing, watery nose or itchy runny eyes.

The new classes of anti-inflammatory agents, like Singulair, have in some studies been shown to reduce the size of adenoid tissue and to be a useful adjunct in the medical management of allergic rhinitis in children.