Therapy | Allergies in children


There are three levels in the treatment of allergies. The first is to avoid the allergen so that an allergic reaction does not occur in the first place. In the case of a food allergy, this may be relatively easy, but it is more difficult in the case of a dust mite or pollen allergy.

These allergens cannot be avoided. Even if you take precautions against house dust mites in bed, they cannot be completely eliminated. The second step is to use medication to alleviate the symptoms of an allergy.

These can be taken prophylactically, for example, if you are severely affected by a pollen allergy, or, as in the case of allergic asthma, can be used to combat acute symptoms. Besides the use of medication, other measures also help. For example, carrying out a nasal shower, in which the nose is rinsed with a solution containing common salt, so that the mucous membrane is freed from allergens such as pollen and dust.

The nasal irrigation can usually be carried out with children from the age of three. The last step that can be taken against the allergy is hyposensitization, with which the allergy can usually be successfully combated in the long term. However, hyposensitization is not suitable for every form of allergy and, if the symptoms are not severely limiting, should not necessarily be carried out.

Hyposensitisation is mainly carried out in cases of a dangerous wasp venom allergy and a strongly impairing pollen allergy. Hyposensitization is a long-term therapy that lasts for a period of three years. For the treatment, allergy preparations are injected under the skin, so hyposensitisation should only be carried out on older children – the children must be at least five years old.

During hyposensitization, the allergic immune response is transformed into a normal immune response, as is the case with a non-allergic person. A hyposensitization is classically started in autumn, i.e. after the peak season of allergies. Among the frequently prescribed medications for allergies are nasal sprays and eye drops.

These are only used to treat the symptoms and do not combat the cause itself. Nasal sprays are not only used to combat nasal running. If the nose is blocked, the tear fluid cannot drain properly through the lower turbinates, resulting in increased eye pressure and watery eyes.

So if you fight the blocked nose, the symptoms of the eyes usually also improve. For example, a normal seawater nasal spray can be used to clear the nose. Decongestant nasal sprays containing an active substance can also be used.

These lead to a constriction of the local vessels, which causes the mucous membrane to swell, so that the secretion can flow off more easily. As there is a habituation effect (see: dependence on nasal sprays) on the mucous membrane, these sprays should not be used for longer than a week – sea salt sprays, on the other hand, can be used over a longer period without hesitation. If a saltwater nasal spray is not sufficient, nasal sprays containing cortisone can also be recommended.

There is no need to be afraid of the ingredient cortisone, as it is only contained in very small doses in the nasal spray and only works locally, so that there are no cortisone-related side effects. The same applies with regard to the side effects of an ointment containing cortisone, which can be used for allergy-related skin rashes and above all relieves itching. With cortisone tablets, on the other hand, side effects of cortisone may occur due to the higher dose.

Cortisone tablets should only be taken by children in very low doses, as otherwise growth disturbances may occur. However, in the event of an allergic shock, cortisone preparations are essential and may save lives. In case of an allergic shock, one should not worry about the possible side effects.

Cortisone preparations are especially helpful on the mucous membranes. In the therapy of allergic asthma, preparations containing cortisone are often indispensable. The drug cromoglycic acid is often used in children, especially for hay fever.

It cannot acutely alleviate the allergy symptoms, but serves as a preventive measure so that the symptoms do not occur at all or only occur in a weakened form. It is a so-called mast cell stabilizer, which prevents histamine from being released upon contact with the allergen. Cromoglycic acid is administered regularly about two weeks before the plant in question starts to flower.

Antihistamines, the best-known antiallergic drugs besides cortisone, can also be used in children. However, not all antihistamine preparations are suitable for children. Antihistamines ensure that the released histamine cannot work.

As a side effect, antihistamines can make children tired. In addition to classic allergy medicines, many also use homeopathic remedies. These can be used for both acute and long-term care.

Which preparations are used depends on the specific symptoms. Above all, the well-known globules are used. Experts recommend taking five of the small globules every two hours when the symptoms first appear.

After the first twelve hours of symptoms, the globules should then be taken regularly three times a day. There are different potencies of the globules. For example, if the nose is slightly congested, the globules should be taken in potency D6. If the nose is constantly running, potency D12 can be used. Since there are so many homeopathic remedies that are used for different symptoms, it is helpful to consult a trained homeopath if you want to use homeopathy to combat symptoms.