Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

pediatric pulmonology

Overcoming Asthma and Allergies

When children have allergies, their immune systems overreact to substances that are harmless to most people. Those substances, called allergens, can include food, dust mites and pollen.

Although different people may react to allergens in different ways, signs of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • Stuffy, runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mild skin redness
  • Red bumps (hives) anywhere on the body
  • Mild swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Itchy, watery eyes
Signs of severe allergic reaction can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the throat or feeling like the throat or airways are closing
  • Hoarseness or trouble speaking
  • Wheezing
  • Nasal stuffiness or coughing
  • Nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  • Fast heartbeat or pulse
  • Skin itching, tingling, redness, or swelling
If your child experiences these symptoms, call 911 or take him the nearest emergency room.

Virtua's board-certified allergy and immunology specialists evaluate and diagnose and manage disorders of the immune system including:

  • Allergic reactions to drugs, food, insect bites, fungus, and other substances
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Angioedema – rapid swelling
  • Chronic inflammation of the sinuses (rhinosinusitis or sinusitis)
  • Blood disorders such as eosiniphilia and mastocytosis
  • Runny nose (rhinitis)
  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Organ transplants
To diagnose these disorders, Virtua doctors use skin and blood tests.

While there is no cure for allergies, there are treatments available that will relieve symptoms including:
  • Reducing exposure to allergens
  • Medications
  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy)

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