Hit’atshut: Biosemiotica Shel Hahayim Habanaliyim (The Sneeze: Biosemiotics of Banal Life).
(photo credit: TNS)
Bouts of allergic asthma in children are expected to significantly increase and intensify in the coming weeks, according to the Israel Allergy Specialists Association, which urged parents of asthmatic children to get them evaluated and treated at the beginning of the school year.
The most common cause of allergic asthma in school-age children is dust mites, tiny creatures that live on dead skin cells and accumulate in the dust.
Although the allergen is present year round, such asthma is more prevalent in the fall due to complications of viral conditions such as cold and the flu.
The condition occurs in 10-15 percent of school-age children.
Complications include breathing difficulties and breathing through the nose, repeated sinus and throat infections, irregular sleep and, as a result, drowsiness and difficulty concentrating during the day.
In addition to dust mites, other causes of allergic asthma are dog or cat fur, fungus on walls and furniture, pollen from different plants such as grass and pollen from olive, cypress, pecan and other trees.
There is a direct link between allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and chronic sleep disturbance, reduced daily functioning and work and school performance, the allergy experts said. Children and adults who suffer from hay fever have also been shown to suffer a decline in cognitive function and a decline in social skills.
To avoid the allergy-related problems, children with respiratory problems should be evaluated and diagnosed by an allergy specialist and prescribed treatment. Common symptoms to watch for are a chronic runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchiness in the nose, pharynx and eyes, frequent clearing of the throat and phlegm.
Among the treatments are avoiding allergens that cause the problem, taking new-generation anti-histamines – which are administered once daily, without causing sleepiness or other side effects – steroid-based nasal spray and more.
Parents should not let children use nose drops frequently, as they can be addictive and cause a breakdown in the nasal tissue. In appropriate cases, the allergy specialist may recommend vaccination against relevant allergens.