Mar 11, 2018

Scheider Children's: Spring Allergies Tips

Dr. Nofar

New research by the Allergy Clinic at Schneider Children’s will investigate the influence of a new infant nutritional formula to allergy development or allergy prevention in infants expected to be born in the coming months to families at risk of developing allergic disease.

Dr. Nofar Marcus-Mandelblit, senior physician in the Institute of Immunology and Allergy at Schneider Children’s, notes that even though Spring is an enjoyable time of festivals, flowering and hikes, it is also a time when children and adults suffer from dust and pollen allergies causing red, itchy and tearing eyes, sneezing, prickly and runny noses, and sometimes, difficulty in breathing and wheezing. These symptoms are an expression of seasonal allergic nose runs, also called seasonal asthma or hay fever.

Pollen from different plants (mainly those without colorful flowers pollinated by insects) are air-borne in the warmer and drier atmosphere. As a result of the contact between pollen in the air and mucus in the nose and air passages, certain cells in the mucus release a substance called histamine which causes the various allergies. Plant allergens prevalent in Israel mainly in the Spring emanate from cedars, olive, pecan and date palms, plants from the grain family - various weeds and plant blossoms in grasses and various shrubs.

Those who are allergic to plant pollens in the Spring should refrain from nature hikes during blossoming-time (eg. in areas where there are olive trees), and ensure that car windows are closed while traveling through these places. Those who live in such areas should keep windows closed at home where possible, and not hang washing outside.

If one nonetheless wants to hike and be out in these areas, taking anti-allergy medication is recommended. These include second generation antihistamines that do not sedate, and steroid nasal sprays which can be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. There are also anti-allergy vaccines which are very effective for seasonal allergies and injections can be administered in the clinic at Schneider Children’s.

The Allergy Clinic at Schneider Children’s conducts various tests on the skin of the hands to determine the causes of allergies. Treatment includes medications such as oral antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops, with inhalations where needed.

Longer-term care includes desensitization (reducing the child’s sensitivity to a known allergen). The allergen is injected in small and concentrated doses that is gradually increased every week so that the immune system will produce the required immune reaction to the allergen, and thus reduce the production of antibodies responsible for the body’s allergic reaction.

A new research study will by the Allergy Clinic will investigate a new infant nutritional formula on the development or prevention of allergy in infants who are expected to be born in the coming months to families at risk of developing an allergic disease. Pregnant women who are due to give birth in the coming months and are interested in obtaining further information may contact the Allergy Clinic at Schneider Children’s, tel. 03-9253652.