Pittsburgh PA (PRWEB) May 01, 2013
Pediatric allergic rhinitis – runny noses, sneezing and itching triggered by allergens such as pollen, mold and pets – is increasingly prevalent and leads to numerous health complications. New techniques and therapies on the horizon are expected to improve the treatment of pediatric allergic rhinitis, according to research published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology by Deborah Gentile, MD, and David Skoner, MD, of the Department of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at Allegheny General Hospital.
“About 40 percent of children and 10 to 30 percent of adults suffer from allergic rhinitis, and its incidence is increasing,” Dr. Gentile said. “Unfortunately, the sniffles and sneezes are just the beginning of the problems, as they can lead to poor sleep quality, emotional well-being, productivity and cognitive functioning.”
“The emergence of new therapies, such as sublingual (under-the-tongue) immunotherapy to replace allergy shots and combination therapies, the increasing availability of over-the-counter treatments, and the possibility of more exact diagnostic techniques will all make it imperative for pediatric allergists, parents and children to work together for the best possible outcomes,” Dr. Skoner said.
The cost of treating allergic rhinitis is estimated at $11.2 billion annually, double the estimated cost in 2000. About a third of children diagnosed with allergic rhinitis also go on to develop asthma, and these children are also at higher risk for ear infections, sinusitis, impaired sleep and subsequent impact on school performance, behavior and mood. Genetic predisposition, combined with early-life environmental exposure to agents such as air pollution, smoke or respiratory viruses are believed to lead to the development of allergies.
Standard treatments include avoiding the allergen, taking medication such as antihistamines, and immunotherapy, administering increasing doses of the allergen, usually via injection in order to build immunity.
Future direction for allergic rhinitis treatment and diagnosis includes:
Along with Drs. Skoner and Gentile, the paper was authored by Erkka Valovirta, MD, PhD, of Turku Allergy Center, Turku, Finland, and Glenis Scadding, MD, of The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, London, UK.