Allergy Specialist Versus Ears Nose and Throat Specialist

Updated on September 27, 2009
S.B. asks from Houston, TX
25 answers

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!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

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.

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from Houston on

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.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.K.

answers from Houston on

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.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Houston on

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.
Peace.

1 mom found this helpful

K.N.

answers from Austin on

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!):
http://www.amazon.com/Neilmeds-Sinus-Pediatric-Complete-S...
http://www.drugstore.com:80/products/prod.asp?pid=142205&...

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from College Station on

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.

Best wishes!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

~M.
Mom to 5 Wonderful kids
http://www.HealthySelfs.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Austin on

My daughter is quite a bit older but had a horrible cough for 2 years that was attributed to allergies after all the specialists ruled out anything in her lungs.

After two weeks with a naturopath, she no longer coughs. That was 5 months ago. They found her system was so full of junk from the 2 years of medication and her system was so inflamed that her body was trying to cough it all out. She was put on natural stuff - probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc. and now just takes a multi-vitamin. Vemma has a liquid vitamin for kids now. Let me know if you are interested. I can give you more info.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.K.

answers from Austin on

S., I think a dermatologist would be the appropriate person to work with in treating the Molluscum Contageosum. As for the runny nose, an ENT would be the way to go if allergy medication did not clear it up. Allergy meds should clear things up for him (at least temporarily). If you are worried about the adenoid surgery, get a second opinion from another pediatric ENT. But, I personally would definitely go that route. If you are worried about the anesthesia, try not to be. I was a nervous wreck when my 10 day old baby was put under general anesthesia (and then again at 8 weeks). Then, my son (at 3) had to be put under. The procedures were done at a children's surgery center so the anesthesiologists only dealt with kids. That was comforting. I would definitely get a handle on the runny nose first and then worry about the skin condition. I doubt if the two are related. Good luck to you! I know health problems with your children are so stressful!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Austin on

I've been in your shoes...my litte one is taking Singulair 4mg & Nasonex..we did the 'allergy tests' & they didn't reveal much. She had to have a sinus surgery due to her case (couldn't get rid of her sinus infection & it moved into her lungs). During the surgery we found out that her sinus area is really small & can not handle her sinus issues. We are still taking the allergy meds above & rinsing her nose (during high mold times) with a saline/water mix (called Neil Med-from walgreens). It's essentially a netti pot for children. It has helped her tremendously. She now does it on her own & hasn't had a sinus infection in over a year. I didn't want to put her through any more needles so this is a good alternative for us. I hope this helps!
M. R.
www.mindyravinesphotography.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.K.

answers from San Antonio on

My son had a similiar issue. His runny nose caused problems at school and with other children and parents who thought his nose was gross. I found out from my allergist that he had an IGG deficiency (immune system problem)that caused chronic sinus infections (infections that can only be cured with Bactrim). The allergist prescribed nasonex and astelin for prevention. All that worked some but there was still a snotty nose. Finally I found an ENT that recommended pediatric Dr. Neil Med's nasal rinses (I can only get them at my allergists office not in stores). It says on the package only for 4 and up but my son started at age 3. I was instructed how to use them by the ENT and gave them to him 2X a day. No more constant run. He got better and his sinus infections decreased 3 fold. I am not saying this is what you should do. But at least ask the ENT to show you how to use the rinses. Two years later and we still use the rinses but he outgrew the IGG deficency. Hang in there!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from Houston on

Hi,
My MIL and I didn't come up with anything in the skin testing other then mold and it was very painful to have done. So she did this http://www.foodallergy.com/ and then eliminated the food allergens (there were many) listed in her results. She is so much better (she was in the hospital all the time and is very healthy now.)

I have always been allergic to milk but it didn't show in the tests either. I eliminated milk and my chronic sinus and ear infections went away. I added it back and I got sick again. I'm having the allergy testing from that site done next week. I think I'm allergic to rice and wheat and want to make sure.

S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from San Antonio on

Obviuosly the call is up to, but this has been my experience. My son always had a runny nose to , and it was b/c of this that he had constant ear infections...one right sfterthe other. So we saw an ENT...he ended up having tubes put in his ear and his adenoids removed he was about 2 yrs old. The ear infections stopped immedialtely, but the congested nose...that did not oh yeah he also has eczema, so we went and saw a derm an had him on all kinds of ointments to help w/the itching. They worked ok but you had to be very diligant about it. Then he started having a couple of "asthma" type attacks, so we finally decided to go see an allergist, he was about 7 yrs old. (the truth is that the congested nose became a regular thing and he was so used to it, it was no longer bothersome---but still there.) So the allergist did an extensive "poke" test on his back (the pok does not hurt it is just the discomfort of not being able to scratch when it itches...the doc gave me a tongue depresser that I could run up and down the areas around the welts...to help w/ the discomfort...my son did cry and he is a tough little guy, but ut wasn't out of pain, just discomfort you have to wait about 20mins. THe allergist was in awe.....when he saw my sons back, he measured each welt and wrote them down...turns out my son has severe allergies.....To EVERYTHING, just about. Th edoc said he had not seen a case this severe in a child...ever. SO Shots were an option but for my sons sake we decidd to try the normal medicine approach first, and it has been working, but he takes a lot of meds. Xzal, Singulair, Nasocort, Alavert, Pro-Air, Pulmicort, and thankfully has not had anymore asthma attacks, and when the allergens are not through the roof, he can actually brathe through his nose w/out snorting a bunch of mucus. I hope you find him the help he needs, regardless of the route you folllow. Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Brownsville on

S.,

My son had simular problems except he had exzuma not the immune problem. Personally I would go the allergy route it turns out my son was allergic to peanuts ( oil in everything) and tomato's as well as a few other things. By avoiding the 2 biggies he was a new kid and out grew the allergies he had as well as the exzuma. The ENT makes his money operating I certianly was not going to let them knock my son out and remove body parts without know what was causing the problem to begin with.

Any way he is now a healthy happy 18 year old. Hope this was helpful sorry about the spelling:)

A. M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I have a great story to share with you of how I helped my daughter who had chronic allergies from birth til the age of 3. I simply did ONE thing and she was fine, and doesn't remember being sick (she's now 9). I am not allowed to post too much info here because they always mark my post for posting the link where my story can be found. Maybe you could send me an email at [email protected]____.com and in the subject line put "your mamasource post about my childs runny nose" and i will help you more.
Thanks!!
J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.B.

answers from Houston on

Don't know about the allergies so much, but all my kids had the molluscum contageosum because, as the name suggests, it is contagious. Not sure what that has to do with his immune system- we could absolutely track just where the molluscum came from- my youngest ones best friend got them from some twins that she slept over with (and shared a bath with), the friend gave it to my KK, KK shared it with her sister and eventually through shared pool towels, whatever, the big brother managed to pick it up. They will eventually go away on their own- or we had ours "burned" off (the kids were older by then). Very common among kids that age. Not a big concern. I'd focus on the allergies and worry about the molluscum later. Don't think they have a thing to do with his allergies. good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Waco on

Hi S.,
I am so sorry your little one has suffered all this time. This type of symptom is really hard on not only the little one but the family.
I have had experience with all this with several of my children and others I now have as well.
I hate to see the Prick thing on little ones and then they always either recommend shots or some other steriod just to ease the symptom- I am strongly against giving litte ones either of these when there are other solutions to try first. I have experienced many helpful solutions and will share them with you- some here and the most imoportant would have to be by private e mail-
If your little one has allergies- at age 4 you can start giving him a little local honey. Honey that is unfiltered, unprocessed and pure and grown in within 50 miles of where you live. Only about a teaspoon at age four- you can put it in his cereal or any other foods/drinks- on toast etc.....but not more than once a day at age 4- Honey is a natural cure for allergies and has been proven. It is not an instant cure and will take a little while but will work.
also, you should change all your household cleaning items to products that are chemical and toxin free- Your laundry detergent is the bigest culpert....no matter how many times your laundry goes thru the rinse cycle there is residue- most laundry detergents are full of fillers and chemicals, bleaches etc that always leave a residue- when you little one sleeps- his face is next to something he inhales all nite- the clothing he wears can leave residue in his pores and be absorbed into his skin-
I can send you to a lot of research where you can see for yourself how the household chemicals cause some of these symptoms but not from this site. so, if you want to know more you can PM me with your e mail and I can give you more details.
Also, adinoids ususally need to come out around age 4 (so they say) but other solutions are available before you put your little one under the knife.
good luck and blessings

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Sherman on

My husband has had terrible allergies his entire life so as soon as we were able to get my daughter tested (at 2, in March) we did so with a pediatric allergist. We did the poking tests. Yes, it was a little traumatic for all of us but I figured it was better to know about her allergies than not. We were lucky in the fact that she has even fewer allergies than me!
My husband did allergy shots from when he was 3-20. He never complained and it was just one shot a week.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.W.

answers from Killeen on

My son had the allergy test done last year when he was 3 and it really wasn't too bad. The pricking part does not hurt them cause they just barely prick the outer layer of skin. The part that bothered him was the control prick they did, because they put something there that everyone is allergic to so they can see how there skin reacts to that compared to the others. So the problem with that one was it was very very itchy and they won't let them scratch it. So my son did cry because he couldn't scratch and it was really itchy, but it was only for a few minutes. I would say it is worth giving that a try first. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Houston on

I would do allergy testing. It doesn't hurt them. We had our son tested at age 4. And some spots just itched but no pain. Could be an easy fix if you find out if he is allergic to something!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.T.

answers from College Station on

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.

Good Luck...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.E.

answers from Austin on

S.,
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.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from Austin on

Hey S.,
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!
Sherri

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.K.

answers from Houston on

S.,
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)..
God Bless.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Houston on

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.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Houston on

Regardless of the molluscum contageosum, definitely have his adenoids removed. It is worth it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I have been through the allergy testing and do not think that is the right was to let a small child remember the Dr.s.
Best to try the surgery see how it works first and later try the testing if needed. The testing seems like it would be no problem but after about 30 or so small injections the 31 is no long something to smile about this from an adult. Think hard about this.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches