Allergy basics

The most common allergens in children
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The most common allergens in children

2011-05-30

By Dr. Marie-Josée Francoeur

Among the agents responsible for non-seasonal AR, i.e. which persists throughout the year, are mites, which are by far the most frequent cause, pets, especially cats but also dogs, and rarely moulds. Seasonal allergies in Québec are most often caused by pollen from ragweed, trees (especially birch) and grasses. Unfortunately, it seems the pollen season is gradually becoming longer. We are seeing earlier pollination of trees, early in the spring, and ragweed, later in the fall, likely caused by climate change. For a patient who presents with symptoms limited to a certain period of the year, for example from March to May, tree pollen is definitely responsible. Thus, by relying on what is going on, you can suspect the causative agent without necessarily having to undergo an allergy test.

Some substances can also irritate the already vulnerable nasal mucous membrane and therefore aggravate the inflammation or conversely predispose to sensitivity to aeroallergens. These irritants that act as an aggravating factor are cigarette smoke, perfumes, air pollution, chemical products and strong odours.

The views expressed are solely those of the author based on his knowledge and expertise and do not necessarily represent the views of the manufacturer.

If you think you are experiencing allergy symptoms, please consult your healthcare professional for a definitive diagnosis.

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