Allergic rhinitis in children: diagnosis and management strategies

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Date: July-August 2004
From: Pediatric Drugs(Vol. 6, Issue 4)
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.
Document Type: Article
Length: 14,453 words
Lexile Measure: 2180L

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Abstract :

The incidence of allergic rhinitis has been increasing for the last few decades, in keeping with the rising incidence of atopy worldwide. Allergic rhinitis has a prevalence of up to 40% in children, although it frequently goes unrecognized and untreated. This can have enormous negative consequences, particularly in children, since it is associated with numerous complications and comorbidities that have a significant health impact on quality of life. In fact, allergic rhinitis is considered to be a risk factor for asthma. There are numerous signs of allergic rhinitis, particularly in children, that can alert an observant clinician to its presence. Children with severe allergic rhinitis often have facial manifestations of itching and obstructed breathing, including a gaping mouth, chapped lips, evidence of sleep deprivation, a long face, dental malloclusions, and the allergic shiner, allergic salute, or allergic crease. The medical history is extremely important as it can reveal information regarding a family history of atopy and the progression of atopy in the child. It is also important to identify the specific triggers of allergic rhinitis, because one of the keys to successful management is the avoidance of triggers. A tripartite treatment strategy that embraces environmental control, immunotherapy, and pharmacologic treatment is the most comprehensive approach. Immunotherapy has come to be viewed as potentially prophylactic, capable of altering the course of allergic rhinitis. The most recent guidelines for the management of allergic rhinitis issued by the WHO recommend a tiered approach that integrates diagnosis and treatment, in which allergic rhinitis is subclassified both by frequency, as either intermittent or persistent, and by severity, as either mild or moderate to severe. Oral or topical antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids are the mainstay of pharmacologic therapy for allergic rhinitis, depending upon its severity, and several agents have been approved for use in children aged 5 years old and younger.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A199991002