What information should be collected in the clinical history of pediatric allergic rhinitis?

Updated: Jun 04, 2021
  • Author: Jack M Becker, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Answer

Physicians should try to identify seasonal variations, provocative elements in the environment, and the timing of events that lead to symptoms. For example, if the patient only has issues during the week, this may lead to investigating the environment of the child's classroom or daycare for allergens like pets or molds. Few patients present soon after the onset of AR symptoms. Usually, AR symptoms have been present for years and have been slowly worsening during each allergy season.

This is especially true for patients with pet allergies. The symptoms appear slowly, over years. They can worsen in the spring and fall and be confused with pollen allergy. This occurs for pets usually shed more in the warmer weather and then in the fall when more time is spent indoors with worsening symptoms. Also, many families believe that the fact that the pet was present before the onset of the child's symptoms exclude the possibility of allergy to the family pet, but this is not true. The family often believe that the family pet is hypoallergenic. No cats or dogs are truly hypoallergenic. Some pets trigger less allergic symptoms in some individuals. In addition, dander exposure is crucial in triggering symptoms. Therefore, a large home without carpeting and a small pet will probably trigger less severe symptoms than a large pet in a small house.


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