Aside from common allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion, itchy eyes and constant sneezing, there are a number of other side effects that make life with seasonal, perennial, or even allergies to pets a challenge. As adults, it's easier to identify the effects of allergies and manage our behavior accordingly. But, for children who are still learning about good behavior, allergies make it nearly impossible to stay in control. These changes can lead to behavior problems, even when your child is typically well-behaved. In this blog, we will answer the question “can allergies cause behavior problems?” along with what you can do to help your child find relief.
Allergy symptoms make life uncomfortable. Oftentimes, children have a difficult time expressing their feelings verbally, especially when they are experiencing pain and discomfort. Because of this, your child may be resorting to other methods to express their feelings, leading to behavior problems.
You may start to notice that your child is constantly feeling irritated or on edge. These feelings may lead to changes in their typical behavior, making them more susceptible to throwing tantrums and fits. One way to help them through this is to avoid scolding them for their bad behavior, and ask questions to get to the core of the problem instead. Once you know what they are feeling you can then start to help them find relief.
A second reason why allergies can cause behavior problems in kids is due to the constant, irritating symptoms that may make them feel drained and tired. When they are experiencing allergy symptoms, their bodies are hard at work fighting off the harmful substances. This can cause fatigue, similar to a cold.
Not only are the symptoms themselves tiring, but they may also cause your child to have trouble sleeping. Nasal congestion is a common issue at nighttime and may keep your child up for most of the night. During allergy season, this also leads to a cycle of fatigue. Over time, sleep problems can cause a number of negative effects, from having trouble concentrating to difficulty learning and lack of motivation. If your child’s teacher mentions they are falling asleep in class or are not paying attention to the lesson, it may be a sign that allergies are causing changes in their behavior.
With the constant tiredness also comes the moodiness. Moodiness can make your child's behavior quickly take a turn for the worst. When they’re moody and overly emotional, they are quick to resist anything you ask them to do. If you notice that your child is starting to throw tantrums more frequently than before, their allergies may be to blame.
Allergy symptoms are disruptive. Constant sneezing and having to stop to blow your nose can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Pair that with the already short attention span of a child, and it’s no surprise they are having problems concentrating.
Allergies also make it hard to hear clearly when experiencing nasal congestion. If your child is having a hard time hearing, especially in the classroom, they won’t be able to concentrate on the lesson or activity. They may look for new ways to stay entertained, possibly distracting other students around them, leading to behavior problems.
Not only are their symptoms to blame, these behavioral changes may also be a result of allergy treatments. These treatments can have side effects that lead to more moodiness, drowsiness, and trouble concentrating.
So, what do you do when the one thing that is supposed to be helping them, is actually making things worse?
First, it is important to talk to your child about what they are experiencing to have a better understanding of the problems at hand. Then, talk to your doctor about these effects. They can help find new treatment options, or even suggest natural remedies, that likely won’t cause the same negative effects for your child. Allergy medicine comes in many different forms, so it is common to have to try a few options before finding the best fit.
While treating allergy symptoms is important, they don’t treat the underlying problem of an overly sensitive immune system. That’s where immunotherapy can help. It targets the cause, helping minimize allergy symptoms altogether. This treatment option will expose your child’s immune system to allergens on purpose, with the intent of desensitizing it. Traditional methods of this treatment include allergy shots and allergy drops. Allergy shots are the least favorable option for kids because of the weekly injections. On the other hand, allergy drops usually have a poor taste and once a child has tasted the medicine, it will be a challenge to get them to ever want to take it again.
Fortunately, there is now a transdermal allergy cream that makes immunotherapy a safe and pain-free option — ideal for both parents and kids. All you have to do is apply the cream and wait for about 15 minutes until the allergens are absorbed into the body. This option saves you the headache of struggling with your child to get treatment. Also, because the cream is delivered and applied at home, it saves you time and money as compared to endless doctor’s visits.
If you're interested in learning more about if this allergy treatment is right for your child, schedule an online appointment here.
Getting your child to take their allergy medications can be tough, especially when it is so frequent and unpleasant. At ShotFree Allergy we want to help! We have created a guide on How To Incorporate Your Child’s Allergy Medication Into Their Daily Routine with a chore chart that makes it easy to keep track of their allergy schedule. Download yours today by clicking the button below.