Environmental allergies affect 40% of kids in the US. They occur when the immune system overreacts to something in the environment.
Typical symptoms of include itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and itchy throat. Some children will also experience skin reactions, like hives. Many children experience these symptoms seasonally, during Spring and Fall. But it is not uncommon for kids to have year-long symptoms.
Common causes of outdoor allergies are grasses, weeds, and trees, while common indoor allergens include dust mites, mold, cockroaches, cats, and dogs.
Treatments for allergies include avoidance, medications and immunotherapy. Medications can often help but can cause changes in a child’s behavior or alertness. Immunotherapy can be a successful treatment, but requires regular allergy shots to decrease the immune system’s sensitivity to allergens.
Dr. Kiera Smialek offers naturopathic alternatives to these medications that help to strengthen a child’s immune system and decrease inflammation. Even better, these natural treatments do not cause the common side effects of the traditional allergy medicines.
We also offer an alternative to allergy shots called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). SLIT has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment and is widely used in many countries.
An in-office allergy test is performed first to determine the allergens. A serum is then made in the office for the patient to administer at home. The drops are placed under the tongue where they are absorbed into the bloodstream. These drops slowly desensitize the immune system over time. The drops are taken daily over the course of a few years. Improvement in symptoms is often noticed within 1-2 months of beginning treatment but it takes a few years to completely desensitize the immune system. There is less risk of a reaction to the drops compared to allergy shots because of the method of delivery. This is a great treatment option for both children and adults.
Information gathered from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and Allergy Easy: