Naples Pediatrics

Pediatrician located in Naples, FL

Allergies and asthma are the most common chronic diseases among children. The two are different conditions, yet closely related, as 70-80% of children with asthma also have allergies. Dr. Paul Irra at Naples Pediatrics in Naples, Florida, have years of experience identifying children’s allergies, targeting their specific cause, and developing individualized treatments. If your child has ongoing symptoms associated with allergies, such as nasal congestion or itchy, watery eyes, contact us to schedule an evaluation.

Allergies Q&A

What is an allergy?

Allergies develop when the immune system mistakenly identifies something that’s harmless as a substance that will harm the body. The immune system produces antibodies in response to that substance — the allergen — and every time the allergen enters your body, it releases histamines. Histamines are responsible for allergy symptoms.

What types of allergies do children develop?

Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is the most common allergy among children. Hay fever often occurs during certain seasons because of tree, plant, and grass pollens. Some children have hay fever all year long, which usually happens when indoor allergens are the triggers.  

The most common allergy triggers in children are:

  • Outdoors: Pollen, ragweed, insect bites or stings
  • Indoors: Animal fur, dust mites, mold
  • Airborne irritants: Cigarette smoke, perfume, car exhaust
  • Foods: Peanuts, eggs, and dairy

What are the common symptoms of allergies?

The symptoms of hay fever often mimic a cold. But allergies are one of the top causes of nasal congestion in children. Allergies may even cause ear infections in young children. These overlapping symptoms often make it hard for parents to distinguish allergies from a different health problem.

If your child has frequent cold-like symptoms that last more than two weeks, or that occur around the same time every year, chances are the cause is an allergy. If you have any questions about your child’s symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Naples Pediatrics. Our doctors can determine whether your child has an allergy and, through testing, target the precise allergen.

Typical allergy symptoms include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rashes or hives
  • Breathing difficulty or wheezing (asthma)
  • Upset stomach, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (food allergies)

What should you know about food allergies?

Food allergies affect one in 13 children, and the only treatment is to avoid the offending food. It’s important for parents to know that many foods can trigger a severe reaction called anaphylaxis: A response that impairs breathing, makes blood pressure drop, and can be life threatening.

The most severe reactions typically occur from allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. To protect your child, contact your doctor at Naples Pediatrics as soon as you suspect a food allergy.

Peanuts, milk, and eggs are the most common food allergies in children. These are among eight types of foods that account for 90% of allergies:

  • Peanuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Fish (more common in adults)