Little Miss has been a snot factory for as long as I can remember. I breastfed her for 17 months and when I finally weaned her while I was pregnant with number two, she didn’t move on to a bottle or cows milk as per the recommendations. But she ate small amounts of yoghurt and cheese so I didn’t ever worry about her calcium intake, and if she ever wanted something to drink other than water (which is all I provide at home), she occasionally had rice milk, or soy milk, or almond milk – whatever I kept in the house varied according to the research I’d read that particular week and what was the best non-dairy option flavour of the week! And yet, despite the limited dairy in her daily diet, her constant ability to produce mucous and snot is seriously phenomenal.
My husband had bad asthma as a child and though none of my kids have ever been diagnosed with it themselves, we’ve been prescribed ventolin to deal with the recurrent cough that plagues her (though her cough seldom responds). Over the past two Winters her immunity seems to be pretty low. Just one night to bed later than her usual 7.30pm and she’s coughing for weeks. She wakes up sneezing every morning – ten to fifteen sneezes in a row is not unusual. She’ll wake at 10pm each night sneezing after having been peacefully sleeping. And did I mention the fact that her ability to produce snot is astounding? She’ll blow and blow and blow and still she’s congested and blocked up. It frustrates me no end and I get annoyed with her for constantly sniffing. She gets annoyed that I keep asking her to blow her nose when she’s literally just done that! It’s not her fault, poor wee poppet. We’ve elevated her bed head to assist with her breathing, we roll her onto her tummy or side when she’s coughing incessantly and still, no difference. And so finally a few weeks ago we decided it was time to take this a little more seriously.
I took her to our GP and asked for some allergy testing. My doctor diagnosed Rhinitis (which I had never heard of!) and we were sent off to get skin prick tests and a full blood test. The tests came back with an allergy to House Dust but thankfully nothing else. Bloody little mites!
So where I was obviously aware of my little lady being snotty and constantly congested for years, we are now embarking on this new road of dealing with allergies.
We came straight home and of course I began to “google”. The most overwhelming recommendation from my research was the importance of investing in high quality Anti-Allergen Bedding. These bedding covers are made of a very tightly woven fabric, which provides an effective barrier between you and the dust mites and are designed to fully encase your mattress, duvet or pillow. By completely encasing the bedding in these covers, you are ensuring the mites can neither get in or out and thereby your allergies are not being adversely affected by the bedding in which you sleep. The recommendation is to wash bedding in hot water each week to kill off the mites and to tumble dry at high heat. I always wash in cold, so I learnt something new there and have changed my bed-washing habits to the hot cycle.
She was also prescribed an anti-histamine to take each night to see if that made any difference to the sneezing. I’m ordinarily quite anti conventional medicine unless absolutely necessary, but being that we have tried so many other options without results, I thought it was worth doing whatever necessary to give my little girl a shot at being comfortable and without this constant irritation she experiences.
It has been two three weeks since we put an Air-Flow anti-allergen bedding set on her bed (which included a mattress cover, a duvet cover and pillow protectors) and began the medication. I am so pleased to report that the sneezing has reduced significantly. She no longer wakes sneezing each morning and never wakes at that 10pm time sneezing a million times in a row. She’s caught a cold since her testing and her snotty nose and cough have been ever present but the ‘allergy’ side of things seems to definitely have calmed down noticeably.
Our GP suggested eliminating dairy from her diet as another option to bring additional results but then quickly said that the jury is out on whether this actually leads to obvious results. I’m loathe to try it for 2 weeks (mostly because it will require a lot of effort on my part!) if it’s not really going to guarantee a change.
We have a follow up appointment with her ENT specialist early next month about her grommets which are making their way out. She had them put in at 3 and a half and they’re only just coming out now! I will be asking him for any further suggestions about how to deal with her Rhinitis and to get his expert opinion on this diagnosis.
We’re still going through tissues like no body’s business because she blows once on a tissue and moves onto a clean one. Arrrggghhhhh! I need to buy shares in Kleenex!
In the meantime, does your child suffer from similar symptoms? Can you give me any advice on anything you’ve tried that has had positive results?
* At my request, I was supplied with a set of anti-allergen bedding by the kind people at Air-Flow. All opinions are my own. You can click here to view the comprehensive range of Air Flow Anti-allergen bedding for yourself.