S.B. asks from Houston, TX on September 23, 2009
Allergy Specialist Versus Ears Nose and Throat Specialist
My 3 year old (4 in Jan) has had a runny nose since he was born. It's a constant problem for him and us. We've tried Claritin, Zyrtec, and he's currently on Singulair 4 mg. None of this works! I took him to the allergy specialist a month ago and they recommended the series of "poking" tests. I didn't want to do that so I took him to an ENT and turns out they want to remove his adenoids. He also has molluscum contageosum on his legs (doctor says it's a weak immune system problem). So now I'm not really sure which route I want to take. Remove his adenoids and still have the skin problem? Or prick him all over and hope that we don't have to do the allergy shots? Just need some direction from parents with experience in this type of situation. Thank you!
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So What Happened?™
Thank you for all of your responses!! I scheduled an appointment with an allergy specialist to go ahead and just see what he's allergic to so maybe we can eliminate a few things. A few of you mentioned sinus rinses. When it comes to a child and sticking something up their nose it sounds like it's going to be rough. He does the flonase perscribed nose spray but we've never tried a rinse. Any tips on how to help your child understand what's going on? I know some mom's have little tricks on getting their kid's to calm down and get use to things like this. He does great with the nose spray but I'm not sure how he will do with the rinse.
K.M. answers from Houston on September 24, 2009
My friend Dr. removed all 3 of her kids Adnoids because they had HORRIBLE problems. She said it was the best thing she has ever done.
P.K. answers from Houston on September 24, 2009
I've done the poking - or stick test with 3 of my children. My 9 year old has yet to forgive us. It was not a pleasant experience. I will say that he did have his adenoids removed and he will get a runny nose if he skips his allergy meds for one day. He's on 2 nose sprays and 1 does of singulair.
As you can see I did both and neither process completely stopped it.
C.H. answers from Houston on September 24, 2009
Hi S., I recommend a third option. I see a naturopathic dr. No blood, sweat, or tears. She sees every age and has young children so your DS will do fine. She will also address the molluscum. I have had great results and her staff is helpful and pleasant. Tracy Southwick,ND at
Heights of Health across from Onion Creek Cafe on White Oak.
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K.N. answers from Austin on September 24, 2009
From my experience I advise you to have both an ENT and a pediatric allergist. I've been in that boat. I know what you're feeling about the Zyrtec and Singulair not working. My daughter was sick every 6-8 weeks when she was 11 month-23 months. She had chronic sinus infections & ear infections; then started having allergic reactions to antibiotics (because she was on them too much). Her ENT monitors her hearing, sinus, adenoids, etc. The ENT did her ear tube surgery in order to reduce the ear infection potential. Her pediatric allergist evaluated her immunology and allergic reaction triggers. Turns out that she is allergic to cows milk proteins and that was triggering the bulk of her congestion, although she does have seasonal allergies also. Since then, I totally changed her diet, removed all sources of cows milk protein... started reading labels and bought a bread machine to make goat milk bread... Her chronic congestion disappeared. No kidding. She gets zyrtec/singulair as needed for seasonal allergies (never had to do allergy shots) and there have been occasional ear infections (like 2-3 in the last 18 months). But nothing like it was before.
Summary: the allergist was able to determine why she was congested all the time; her ENT treats the effect of her congestion and monitors her hearing to make sure she doesn't have other issues develop.
The skin "poke" test really is NO big deal. Seriously, I thought they would be sticking my baby with needles. No. They use a plastic stick and just scratch an allergen on one area of the child's back, then scratch something else on a different place, etc. There's like 20 different areas that they scratch. Nothing painful. You can give a little tylonal beforehand if you think the child will be sensitive to the scratches. When my then 20 month old did it, getting the scratches didn't phase her at all. Hardest part of the whole thing was keeping the child still for 20 minutes afterward, so that they don't inadvertently rub against something that will cause one area to contaminate another area. Tip: Bring lots of snacks that the child likes to eat and that should help keep them occupied during the 20 minutes.
Now the blood test for immunology is harder, because that requires blood being drawn. Again, give tylonal before the appointment. And cover the child's eyes when its happening, because it will be scary for him to see it. Give a big treat afterward (if the child is old enough to understand it; I gave a stuffed animal and lollipop.)
My daughter gets sinus rinses also, when she gets congested. We call it 'boo-boos in the nose'. Email me if you want details/tips. We use the adult Neil Med sinus rinse bottle (but only a small amount of the salt water when doing it), although they now offer a pediatric size. You can either use their saline packets or make your own salt water (I think HEB is selling these now!):
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M.S. answers from College Station on September 24, 2009
When my son was 3, the drs wanted to put him on 4 meds b/c he had allergies, asthma, eczema, etc. I had allergy testing done on him, but it didn't help as much as I was hoping. But, I was very against putting my son on that many meds that were life long so I looked into other options, more natural ones. I changed his diet significantly and took him off milk and wheat. Immediately, his eyes were no longer red on his eyelids w/dark circles underneath and he had rare asthma attacks, all this w/o meds. I now take him to a naturopath dr and found out that he was allergic to sugar and artificial sugar. He is SOOOOOOOO much healthier and if he ever eats anything he shouldn't, I can immediately tell under his eyes. I believe you can help your son too and he probably won't need any surgeries.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Mom to 5 Wonderful kids
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S.W. answers from Houston on September 24, 2009
I don't know where you live but my allergies were killing me. I literally was taking shots 2x a week & on prescriptions etc for 2 years. I was having sinus infections on a regular basis & was seeing a neurologist , mri, etc for my migraines. Once, I couldn't resist petting a kitten (5 secs) & I wasn't 25 ft from the sink so I could wash my hands & I had raised red streaks before I got there on my arm. total basket case!
My neighbors had been bugging me to see their kinesiologist. I never listened until I was too the point I was ready to try anything I was so miserable. After all I needed an Allergist, right?
I saw Fr Alfred Colwell in Tomball in Dec 1999. He is a Kinesiologist /Chiropracter I went every 2 weeks for 3 months. I was able to have an outdoor cat until it ran away. I have had maybe 5 sinus infections & ZERO migraines since then. I have seen him about 15 times since then. Not always for sinus. I took my son in to see him when he was smaller & he had me hold him in my lap while he checked him out. If you want to ask me more feel free to e-mail me.
N.K. answers from Houston on September 24, 2009
I know the delima you are having. i have two wonderful girls and one had tonsils and adenoids out and the other had allergy testing twice. But truthfully, yes both of these things will hurt him, but he will not remember the pain and it is over quicker then you think. There are several REALLY great allergy docters out there and the allergy testing really isn't as terrible as it seems. My oldest the one that had the allergy testing done,.. is the worst patient ever, there has to be 5 people (no lie) to hold her down for a flu shot and she did the allergy testing when she was 3 and again at 8. But for the quality of his life, i would definetly do the testing first then if necessary the adenoids ( only because the testing isn't surgery)..
S.D. answers from Austin on September 27, 2009
I'm sorry to hear your little guy is suffering with this. I can't give an opinion on the adenoids part of your question but I can tell you what we did for allergies. Our oldest (now 4) has had similar problems with the allergy issue. When he was 2, our doctor had his blood tested. It isn't as comprehensive as the full allergy testing but we were able to determine that he has an allergy to mold and cedar - and also the levels of mild and moderate. I have had allergy testing and it is uncomfortable. I was thankful that we could uncover our son's issues with only 1 "owie".
Good luck to you!
T.E. answers from Austin on September 24, 2009
I haven't had personal experience with that exact issue, but if you son has immune issues, take him to a naturopathic doctor or someone that will work to repair / build his immune system. My experience with immune related illnesses is most western trained doctors never focus on this and rather focus on suppressing symptoms - a big issue that will only hurt your child later in life. My best to you and your family.
J.T. answers from College Station on September 24, 2009
First, the molluscum is warts and easily treatable with over the counter wart medicine. It takes 2-4 weeks and then it is gone. They will spread to other people and other parts of the body so treat it. We used Duofilm on my oldest when he had it.
2nd, while surgery is always an option, I would get a 2nd opinion. My youngest had his adenoids out with his 2nd set of tubes. Often the adenoids will be swollen, not allowing the eustation tubes to drain properly. I have not heard of taking them out with just a runny nose and no other issues.