Centers of Excellence
Over the last four decades, worldwide, allergies have increased. Allergic rhinitis, asthma, as well as atopic dermatitis – eczema have become serious health problems.
The Pediatric Allergy Department treats children suffering from allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis (with or without conjunctivitis), bronchial asthma (with or without rhinitis), drug allergy, contact dermatitis, eczema caused by various chemical or pharmaceutical substances or other causes, food allergy, insect bites, nutrition etc.
Over the last four decades, in all over the world, allergies have increased. Allergic rhinitis, asthma, as well as atopic dermatitis – eczema have become serious health problems. Similarly, food and drug allergy, are causing not only urticarial, but even also anaphylaxis. Asthma, in particular, is the main cause for million absentee school days, annually.
Allergy is a pathologic reaction of the immune system towards an external substance, which is, usually, innocent and, in general, is considered safe. Such a substance is called allergen and it contacts the body through inhalation, ingestion, or via contact with the skin.
The Department treats diseases such as:
- Allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis, or rhinoconjunctivits, presents with repetitive sneezing, especially in the morning, runny and/or stuffy nose, itching of the nose and, even, of the oral cavity. The eyes are red, tearing, and itchy. Because of the itchiness the patients rub their nose (allergic salute) and the eyes.
- Allergic asthma
The allergic bronchial asthma is a chronic condition, whose main symptoms are cough and shortness of breath, while wheezing is the mainstay sing to achieve the diagnosis. The majority of asthmatic children develop an asthma attack with viral infections, with exposure to cigarette smoke, and to air pollution.
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatis or eczema, most common in babies, is a non-contagious rash. The main characteristic symptom is pruritus at the elbow and knee areas, usually located although it is possible, in the most severe cases, to expand all over the body.
Hives, also known as urticaria, affects about 20 percent of people at some time during their lives. It can be triggered by many substances (foods or drugs) or situations (physical causes, stress, etc.), and usually starts as an itchy patch of the skin that turns into swollen red welts, that remain at the same point of the skin 24, or less, hours. If the whole situation lasts 6 or more weeks it is a chronic condition.
Anaphylaxis, in the most severe forms of it, is the most urgent in the whole Medicine situation, presenting with urticaria in association with symptoms of other systems. It is a, potentially, life-threatening situation. The most common causes leading to anaphylaxis are foods, drugs, and insect (bee and wasp) stings.
- Drug reactions
Drug allergy, especially in children, is mainly due to antibiotics, and to penicillin and its derivatives, in particular. Amoxicillin is the most common cause of drug allergy due to its high prescription level.
- Food allergy
The most common food allergens are cow’s milk, wheat, egg, fish, peanut, tree nuts, seafood (shrimp being the most common among them), and soy. The appearance of food allergy follows the food introduction pattern (age).
In addition to common therapy with drugs, it is recommended desensitization especially for respiratory allergy (rhinitis, asthma), due to its excellent safety profile and very high percentage of success.
In order to conclude on the most effective treatment, special blood tests, skin prick tests as well as spirometry are used. Specific challenge tests may be used in some cases.