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Debunking 3 Myths About Your Child’s Allergic Rhinitis

child with allergic rhinitis

Is allergic rhinitis the same as the flu? Do antihistamines lose their effect? These myths about allergic rhinitis need to be cleared up.

Allergies tend to have a long-term impact, worsening over time if not prevented, treated, or appropriately managed. In this article, we’ll reveal the five most common misconceptions about allergic rhinitis to help you and your child understand it better and effectively manage its effects.

1. It’s the same as the common cold or flu

Although they share several symptoms, such as runny nose, blocked nose, and sneezing, allergic rhinitis is quite different from the common cold or flu. It’s not caused by a viral infection and it doesn’t just go away within a couple of days.

As it’s an allergy, it’s triggered by specific allergens such as pollen, smoke, or dust mites, and will persist until the allergen is gone. Usually, symptoms of allergic rhinitis will last for more than a week and generally occurs without a fever.

2. Allergic rhinitis is not that serious. My child can tolerate it

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can become more severe if not treated early and promptly. Apart from causing pain and discomfort, it can affect your child’s performance in school and sports activities as well as their sleep quality. For example, itchy skin rash or watery eyes can impair your child’s focus in school, and a blocked nose can cause snoring and a dry mouth which affects sleep quality.

3. If my child takes the same antihistamine for a while, they’ll build a tolerance to it

When symptoms are mild, many assume that it’s because the medication is working well; when allergies are more severe, you may conclude that your child has built a tolerance to the medication. However, this is not the case; taking antihistamines for a prolonged period doesn’t lead to tolerance.

The difference in the effectiveness of the medication is most likely due to the severity of your child’s allergy reaction or that your child was exposed to a new allergen. This means that the medications your child had previously taken are now not effective enough for recent, more prolonged, or stronger allergy attacks.

Allergic rhinitis, the common cold, and the flu are often confused with each other, which may increase the risk of self-medicating incorrectly. If you suspect that your child has any of those conditions, consult a primary care doctor 24/7 on-demand or by appointment, or schedule an appointment with a pediatrician to get an appropriate diagnosis and prescription for medication using the Doctor Anywhere app.

Download the Doctor Anywhere app for free on App Store or Google Play Store to create an account for your child. In the absence of an ID, please use their birth certificate and the "Registry number" as their ID number.

To learn more about kid’s health issues and the support services that are available, visit

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