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Clarinex (Desloratadine)

Both sets of parents were very keen to look into the precise causes of their children’s asthma in more detail, in particular the allergy factor. Simon’s father pointed out to me that although Simon suffered badly from hay fever, which is a pollen allergy, this only occurred in summer, whereas his asthma attack was in winter. I explained that anyone with an allergy to one substance is nearly always allergic to many different ones. Some of these on their own do not produce any symptoms, but when thinking about asthma it is useful to imagine an empty barrel into which the child’s different allergies are being thrown. No trouble occurs until the barrel is full, and it may take many allergens together to reach this point. If another allergic substance is then tossed into the barrel it overflows and problems immediately begin, which in the case of asthma is wheezing and shortness of breath.
An allergic reaction is an abnormal response to a substance which has no effect on normal or non-allergic people. The problem is identifying the factors to which your own child is allergic. While there are hundreds of substances that can cause a reaction, it is often quite easy to identify the ones producing the strongest effect.
Nearly all asthmatic children are allergic to the house-dust mite. This is a tiny insect which lives in household dust, and is invisible to the naked eye. Mites are most dangerous on the mattress when the child is in bed inhaling the allergen all night. Although the mite is also present in the carpet, children do not tend to lie with their faces buried in the carpet for any length of time.
Pollen is another substance which can produce a strong allergic reaction leading to asthma. In the height of summer there is a tremendous amount of pollen released into the air. If a child who is allergic to pollen walks through a field where grass is freshly cut then he or she will inhale a large quantity of pollen grains. As these enter the lungs they provoke coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. An identical situation can arise from the inhalation of animal dander, a mixture of fur, hair, scale and urine shed from pets. Dogs, cats and horses are the animals most commonly implicated.
It is easy to understand how something which is inhaled directly into the lungs can produce a reaction in the breathing tubes. Asthma can also develop from allergic substances which are eaten or drunk. The foods most commonly incriminated are cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, cheese, yeast, fish, pork and peanuts. Unfortunately the picture is further complicated by the preservatives and colorants used by food manufacturers. Many asthmatic children are allergic to the tartrazine in orange squash and cola and in some the reaction is strong enough to make them wheeze.
Sometimes a little detective work is needed to identify your child’s allergies, but this will be very rewarding if it lessens the frequency and severity of the attacks.
The Major Allergic Factors
Inhaled Consumed
House-dust mite Cow’s milk
Animal fur Orange squash (Tartrazine)
Pollen Nuts
Moulds and spores Dairy produce
Feathers Fish
In my experience nearly every asthmatic child is allergic in varying degrees to all the inhaled allergens and to certain of the consumed ones. Simon had always been upset by cheese and orange squash, and Julie was particularly affected by milk and cola.

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