Allergies Alter Kids’ Sleep, Play and Concentration, Study Says

Nicole Ostrow:

The sneezing, wheezing and sinus congestion of allergies can affect children’s sleep, as well as their ability to compete in sports and concentrate in school, according to a survey involving more than 1,000 families.
Twice as many parents of children with allergies as those without the condition said it limited their child’s activities in research to be reported tomorrow at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting in Philadelphia. Almost half of parents surveyed said their children use prescription medicine to treat their allergies.
Allergic rhinitis affects about 40 million people in the U.S., including up to 40 percent of children, according to the researchers. The condition is most severe in the spring when plant and tree flowers fill the air with pollens that trigger immune responses. Severe allergies can lead to asthma, chronic sinus problems or ear infections, researchers said.
“Allergies are more than just a sneezing nose, running nose or itching. They have a major effect on children,” said study author Michael Blaiss, a Memphis, Tennessee, allergist who is a past president of the allergy group, in a March 14 phone interview. “One has to realize that allergic rhinitis is not a trivial condition. We see marked impairment in children.”