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Allergies Specialist

NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine

Pediatricians located in Springfield, VA & Woodbridge, VA

Allergies can make your child miserable and even cause serious complications like asthma attacks and anaphylaxis. Allergies can’t always be cured, but they can be managed by the excellent team at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine with offices in Springfield and Woodbridge, Virginia. If you feel your child is showing signs of allergies, please contact NOVA Pediatrics to schedule an appointment with one of our providers. Call the office today to speak with a helpful staff member or use the online booking tool.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

When your child’s immune system overreacts to substances that are normally harmless, it’s called an allergic reaction. Your body reacts to these allergens by producing antibodies to fight off a perceived attack. Allergens include mold, dust, pet dander, pollen, and insect bites.

One of the most common allergies your child may experience is allergic rhinitis. These nasal allergies are seasonal, usually occurring in the spring or fall when pollen and mold are most active. 

Certain medications and foods can also cause an allergic reaction. For some children, these allergies can be life-threatening. Children can also have allergic reactions to substances and chemicals that cause a skin rash.

What are symptoms of allergies?

You’re probably familiar with the symptoms of allergies, but they can show up in ways that aren’t always expected. Allergy symptoms can seriously interfere with your child’s quality of life.

Common signs that your child has an allergy include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Runny nose and nasal congestion
  • Darkening under the eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Dark crease below the bridge of the nose

These symptoms can sometimes set off an asthma attack in children with allergic asthma. 

Symptoms of a food or medication allergy can present as swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat as well as tingling in the mouth. Hives and anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction, can also occur. 

How are allergies treated?

Most allergies cannot be cured, but treatments help with symptom management. One of the most effective treatments is trigger avoidance. Your provider at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine provides allergy testing to help you identify what your child is allergic to and should avoid. 

Not all allergens can easily be avoided, however, so there are treatments to help. 

Over-the-counter antihistamines help to relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis as well as relieve itching and swelling due to hives or an allergic reaction. Your provider can help you understand how to adjust dosages for your child’s size and age. 

Additional medications, such as nasal sprays, decongestants, and leukotriene blockers, such as Singulair™, also help with symptoms of allergic rhinitis. 

Some children also receive allergy shots, a type of immunotherapy that provides systematic desensitization to allergies. The treatment involves regularly injecting increasing amounts of the known allergen over several weeks or months in the office of NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine. 

Your provider can also provide an emergency plan that includes epinephrine injections if your child has a life-threatening allergy.

If you believe your child may have allergies, please make an allergy appointment to discuss symptoms and possible treatment options. Call NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine or use the online booking tool.