Allergic Rhinitis – Kids below 7 Years old (Singapore context)
My daughter suffered from Allergic Rhinitis from when she was a baby until shortly after she turned 7 years old. Most of my friends’ kids below 7 years old seemed to exhibit allergic rhinitis as well. For that reason, it seems I really have to write some of my thoughts around this matter. Apparently there is a very specific name for this disease prevalent on young children.
Paediatric allergic rhinitis (AR) Allergic Rhinitis according to a Singapore study done in 2001-2002
The most prevalent clinical symptoms were: watery rhinorrhea 61%, blocked nose 61%, sneezing 52%, snoring 17%, and epistaxis 12%
Rhinitis is a disease of the upper airway characterized by runny and/or blocked nose and/or sneezing. Though not viewed as a life threatening condition, it is also recognized to impose significant burden to the quality of life of sufferers and their caretakers and imposes an economic cost to society. Through a PubMed online search of the literature from 2006 to September 2011, this paper aims to review the published literature on rhinitis in young children below the age of 6 years. It is apparent from epidemiology studies that rhinitis in this age group is a relatively common problem. The condition has a heterogenous etiology with classification into allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. Respiratory viral infections may play a role in the pathogenesis of long standing rhinitis, but definitive studies are still lacking. Treatment guidelines for management are lacking for this age group, and is a significant unmet need. Although the consensus is that co-morbidities including otitis media with effusion, adenoidal hypertrophy and asthma, are important considerations of management of these children. Pharmacotherapy is limited for young children especially for those below the age of 2 years. This review underscores the lack of understanding of rhinitis in early childhood and therefore the need for further research in this area.
More from the same study
The studies from Singapore show that the prevalence of rhinitis in preschoolers is substantial with prevalence of 25.3% in the 4 to 6 year age group  and a cumulative prevalence of 42.7% in the 2 year age group . These rates are in fact comparable with that reported in the phase III of the ISAAC with rhinitis rates reported at 25.5% for Singapore schoolchildren 6-7 years old . These studies indicate that the prevalence of rhinitis young children may be considerable.
Since my daughter’s rhinitis falls under the allergic rhinitis category, we were told to just manage our environment and reduce exposure dust mites. Management also includes prescription drugs for cold, cough and fever whenever there is a severe attack. This does not sit well with me, as I know its just addressing the symptoms. What we need to know is the root cause.
I discussed this with a few of my Singaporean friends before and a few of them theorized that Allergic Rhinitis in kids living in Singapore, were caused by vaccinations. A few of them postulated that the vaccinations in Singapore were designed for Europeans and not Asians. Therefore Asian kids reacted differently. A TCM doctor which we used to see at the height of my daughter’s allergic rhinitis attacks, said that
” children with rhinitis are just detoxing the ‘toxin’s from the vaccines, and once it is completely detoxified by the body, the attacks will slowly stop, meanwhile during the kids’ first 7 year cycle, alternative ways to manage the attacks (it is drug less) is recommended.”
My daughter’s chiropractor echoed the same observation (without my prompting– I did not even mention these theories to him). He said:
whenever your daughter have a fever, embrace it.. the fever is just like a storm, as the storm/rain cleanses the environment neutralizing toxins, the fever/cold/cough is doing exactly the same thing to our bodies, it cleanses our bodies, neutralizing toxins and makes way for fast elimination of toxins…by age 7 you should see some improvements..
Interestingly, the allergic rhinitis attacks stopped shortly after my daughter’s 7th birthday (or maybe it was also because of the interventions we took during a period of years.. herbs, chiropractic adjustments, nose spa, tuina, breathing in ocean air, yes! like literally going near the beach whenever she is having allergic attacks (works like a free saline nasal spray on a wider scale and in a more fun and relaxing way)…
suffice it to say.. we managed her allergic rhinitis the natural way.. no anti histamines— we did’nt even bother much about the mites..seriously?? SIngapore is too clean already— what if we bring her back to the Philippines? she will probably have to be on a respirator within minutes upon setting foot in Philippine soil… so I don’t buy that environmental management as the main approach to manage allergic rhinitis.
One of my blog readers and my friend M is currently trying my approach to managing allergic rhinitis of their daughters (below 7 years old)… well, lets see in 3-4 years time.. this article will probably be another favorite of my blog readers..
So, why does these attacks lessen if not stop after 7 years of age or when kids age?
Here is what the experts say:
It is apparent from epidemiology studies that rhinitis in this age group is a relatively common problem. The condition has a heterogenous etiology with classification into allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. Respiratory viral infections may play a role in the pathogenesis of long standing rhinitis, but definitive studies are still lacking. Treatment guidelines for management are lacking for this age group, and is a significant unmet need. Although the consensus is that co-morbidities including otitis media with effusion, adenoidal hypertrophy and asthma, are important considerations of management of these children. Pharmacotherapy is limited for young children especially for those below the age of 2 years. This review underscores the lack of understanding of rhinitis in early childhood and therefore the need for further research in this area.
The experts know it is prevalent to kids below 6-7 years of age… why then does it lessen after 7 years of age? Did they have lesser exposure to house dust mites? If its true that the most common cause are house dust mites.. can we prove that there is less house dust mite in the same house for all children above 7 years? Do they spend less time at home therefore less exposure to house dust mites? In my daughter;s case, it is very unlikely.. we still live in the same house, same room, we have the same routines.. she spends the same amount of time at home as she did when she was 2 years old.
If I am a clinical researcher with passion to really help children and their parents, I would find a way to find a correlation between vaccinations and possible detoxification of toxins for children age 2 to 7 years old as a possible reason that these attacks lessen after a child turns 7. If I am a researcher bent on really finding the cause and dealing with the cause.. I will move away from pharmaceutical approach..will think outside of the box.. and pray to God that someone will sponsor my resarch even if there is no promise of ROI… Anyway. ever hear of the 7 year cycle?
e.g. something so simple.. instead of giving saline nasal spray.. why not ask the parent to bring the child to the beach.. and stay there for at least 2 hours.. breathe the humid saline ocean air!! That is what 18th century doctors told their patients suffering from respiratory diseases did anyway…everything just shifted focus on drugs after the 1950’s (major change in the medical education system).. and then everyone just forgot the basics.. and hold fast on what they believe is TRUE.