Everything You Need To Know About Teenager Allergies
Teenager Allergies Overview
Seasonal allergies usually develop in children at an early age, but with time, the prevalence increases as they grow into adulthood. The signs of seasonal allergies can be noticed in the age as early as two to three years but can peak up as they grow.
What Happens In Teenager Allergies
Allergies usually happen when children react to something in the environment, which is generally known as an allergen. It can be dust, pollen, or food. In order to protect your body from the reaction, the body produces IgE antibodies. These antibodies then stimulate the immune system in your body to release histamine, which influences the eyes, throat, nose, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract, causing allergy symptoms. Any exposure to an allergen at any time would trigger the antibody response and lead to allergy symptoms.
Causes of Teenager Allergies
The sensitivity to allergy is usually inherited by children from their parents. At the same time, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a child is going to have an allergy if the parent has it. The child inherits the likelihood of having allergies and not a particular allergy.
Most common Teenager Allergies
Environmental allergies are more frequently seen in teenagers, which include dust mites, mold, or pet dander. Outdoor allergens coming from tree and grass pollen in the spring and the weed and ragweed in the fall are most likely to affect teenagers. Here are some of the most common allergens affecting teenagers:
Environmental allergens: airborne particles are the most common type of allergens. Dust mites at home which are basically the tiny bugs in the house dust can be a great trigger for children and teenagers to cause allergies. Mold spores at home can also cause the antibodies to react, while the animal dander is another stimulator. Flakes of scaly or dried skin can be a major cause of allergies for teenagers. Pollen from grass, ragweed, and trees has also been significantly impacted teenagers and provoked allergies.
Food: Food allergens are another common form of allergies that can develop in babies and escalate as they grow older. While some food allergies can be pretty serious, others just cause mild symptoms such as rash, diarrhea, and tingly tongue. Common food allergies have been seen to be milk, eggs, wheat, soy, seafood, and peanuts.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics or other medicines to treat infections can also be a huge cause of seasonal allergies in teenagers. Over-the-counter medicines, the ones that you purchase without any subscription, can also cause allergies.
Chemicals: Chemicals, especially the ones included in laundry detergents or cosmetics, can be a big reason behind allergies in teenagers. Dyes, household cleaners, or pesticides for lawns can also be a substantial cause of allergies in teenagers. However, the reaction caused by these products is not necessarily an allergic reaction.
Insect stings: the venom of the insect stings can also result in an allergic reaction in children that grows as the child adults. These reactions may be severe or even cause an anaphylactic reaction.
Do These Reactions Happen Quickly?
The allergic reaction can be immediate or delayed. The immediate allergic reaction usually happens within a few minutes or 1-2 hours after the kid has been exposed to the allergen. On the other hand, the delayed reaction occurs several hours after exposure to the allergen. It might also take days to show up after the child has come in contact with the substance.
Teenager Allergy Symptoms
The seasonal allergy symptoms in teenagers can be mild to severe:
Mild Allergy Symptoms In Teenagers:
- Rash or welts
- Itchy mouth or tingling feeling
- Swelling around the eyes, lips, or face
- Stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting
- Hay fever
Sever Allergy Symptoms In Teenagers
Severe seasonal allergy symptoms are known as anaphylaxis. This can be a lethal allergic reaction that requires immediate medical care and attention.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty in talking or a hoarse voice
- Throat or tongue swelling
- Persistent cough
- Diarrhea, stomach pain, or vomiting after being stung by an insect
Diagnosis For Teenager Allergy Symptoms
A doctor who suspects your teen of having an allergy would recommend an allergist for further diagnosis. The allergist would inquire about your allergy symptoms, how long you have had it for, and if the allergy runs in your family. They might also run some tests for authentic confirmation of the allergy. However, the type of tests run depends on the kind of allergy you have.
Treament for Teenager Allergies
There is no cure for allergies, but the symptoms can be managed by taking some precautionary measures.
While many allergies can be treated with medications and shots, food allergies can only be treated by avoiding the allergen. If you are allergic to peanuts, you need to ensure that your food doesn’t even contain a trace of peanuts in it. Make sure to read the labels of the food whenever you go out for grocery shopping to avoid any probability of contacting the allergen. Eliminating exposure to the allergic substance can prevent you from taking medications as well.
Here is how you can avoid environmental allergies to affect your teen:
- Do not place carpets or rugs in the room as they can trap dust. Also, do not let dust accumulate on the hardwood floors.
- Keep the pets out of the room and bathe them frequently. In case of a severe allergy, it is better not to keep a pet at all.
- Get rid of heavy drapes that hold a high possibility of trapping dust.
- Deep clean your house to get rid of the dirty corners.
- Avoid damp areas such as basements if you are allergic to mold. Make sure to keep your bathrooms clean and dry at all times.
- Change your pillow covers and clean your mattresses often to avoid dust mites.
- Keep your windows closed in spring if you are allergic to pollen. Change your clothes and shower as soon as you come back home.
- Shift to perfume-free and dye-free cosmetics and detergents
Medicine And Allergy Shots
There are several medicines such as pills and nasal sprays that can help treat seasonal allergies in teenagers. Your doctor can better help you figure out the best medicine as per your allergy. On the other hand, allergy shots such as allergy immunotherapy can help the teen’s body fight the allergen and strengthen the immune system.
Allergies can grow as children grow, which makes it important for the parents to be fully aware of the causes and symptoms and get them immediate help when needed. It is highly significant to avoid every possible contact with the substance you are allergic to mitigate the severity of the symptoms.
Written by: Madiha Ather Hashmi (October 15, 2021)
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Last Updated on July 5, 2023