Does your student often drag out the door every morning sniffing, snorting or coughing? Do sneezing, wheezing, and watery eyes accompany evening homework? Unfortunately, these are not the only symptoms of allergic disease. Many individuals with allergic disease often report they have trouble concentrating and remembering when their allergies act up.
Allergic rhinitis has been associated with decreased ability to concentrate, activity limitation, decreased decision-making capacity, impaired hand-eye coordination, problems remembering, irritability, sleep disorders, fatigue, missed school days, more motor vehicle accidents and more school injuries.
Many parents of children with allergies observe increased bad mood and irritability in their child’s behavior during allergy season. This is particularly true for young children with allergies, since they cannot express their discomfort. It is important that the irritability caused by the congestion and pain in the ears, nose and throat not be mistaken as attention deficit disorder. With proper treatment, symptoms can be well-controlled and disruptions in learning and behavior can be avoided.
Causes of cognitive (learning) impairment in students with allergies:
- Sleep Disruption – Chronic nasal congestion will disrupt the sleep cycle. Night after night of interrupted sleep can cause serious decreases in learning ability and performance in school.
- Over-the-Counter Medications – The most commonly used over-the-counter medications for allergy symptoms are decongestants and first generation antihistamines, both of which cause sleep disturbances. Decongestants can cause sleeplessness, appetite loss, and irritability. Antihistamines cause drowsiness and affect learning, memory and performance.
- Blockage of the ear canal can impair hearing.
- Constant nose blowing, coughing and throat clearing, especially while in the classroom, can interrupt concentration and the learning process.
- Missed days from school.
- Identify the student’s allergy triggers and avoid them. Allergy skin testing by a board certified allergist will help identify the allergens that are triggering the student’s symptoms. Once identified, the allergist will provide guidelines as to how to avoid the triggers.
- Prescription medications can help avoid the side effects of over-the-counter medications.
- If medications are not effective, your allergist may suggest immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots or allergy drops.
If you suspect your student is suffering from allergies, see your allergist for proper diagnosis. Treating allergies sooner rather than later can help prevent disruptions in learning and poor performance.
Dr. Vannelli sees patients of all ages in the Blue Bell, Collegeville, Philadelphia, and Jenkintown locations.
Patrick Vannelli, MD is a Physician with Allergy & Asthma Specialists, a group practice with eight locations in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. He has practiced as a Board Certified Allergist/Immunologist since 2008.
Dr. Vannelli received his undergraduate degree at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and his Medical Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo Medical School. He completed his Pediatric Residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Goryeb Children’s Hospital where he was Chief Resident. He completed his Fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He continues to be involved in numerous research studies and is a published author.
The doctor is certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology.. He is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, The Pennsylvania Allergy and Asthma Association and the Philadelphia Allergy Society.
Hospital staff privileges include:
- Abington Memorial Hospital
- Montgomery Hospital
If your asthma causes you to feel like you don’t have the strength to continue with your favorite sport or activity, you will benefit from finding your inner strength and maintaining an attitude of perseverance. This is the mantra that famed Dancing with the Stars ballroom dancer Anna Trebunskaya maintains. Since childhood, Trebunskaya has dealt with the obstacles that come with asthma but has found certain ways to cope and carry on.
For Anna, the most important resources she turned to for support were her mother, her fellow dancers, and her love for the art. She speaks about the importance of informing those around you that you have asthma so that they can be prepared if you experience symptoms of an asthma attack. If you are suffering from asthma, turn to this video and Anna’s compassionate words for inspiration and encouragement.
The asthma experts at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM understand how tolling this condition can be and make it their goal to effectively treat and alleviate your symptoms. Call us at (800) 86-COUGH to learn more about our asthma treatment in King of Prussia.