Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Laryngitis - Allergic

Definition

  • Allergic reaction of the voicebox (larynx) and vocal cords

Call or Return If

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing occurs
  • Hoarseness is not better in 2 days after starting allergy medicine
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Voice (or cry) is raspy and deeper than usual
  • Cough and throat clearing is often present
  • Runny nose and watery eyes may also occur
  • Allergic symptoms often have a sudden onset.

Causes

  • Reaction to an inhaled substance (called an allergen). Most often, this is a pollen.
  • Grass, trees, weeds and molds are the most common pollens.
  • Allergens can also be from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other animals.
  • Dust, chemicals, or pollutants can also cause a raspy voice. This is from irritation of the vocal cords, not an allergic reaction.

Prevention - How to Reduce the Pollen Your Child Breathes:

  • Pollen is carried in the air.
  • Keep windows closed in the home, at least in your child's bedroom.
  • Keep windows closed in car. Turn the air conditioner on recirculate.
  • Avoid window fans or attic fans. They pull in pollen.
  • Try to stay indoors on windy days. Reason: The pollen count is much higher when it's dry and windy.
  • Avoid playing with the outdoor dog. Reason: Pollen collects in the fur.
  • Pollen Count: You can get your daily pollen count from www.pollen.com. Just type in your zip code.

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • Pollen allergies are very common. They occur in about 15% of children.
  • Symptoms can be controlled by giving allergy medicines. Use either a short-acting (Benadryl) or long-acting (Zyrtec).
  • Since pollen allergies recur each year, learn to control the symptoms.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Allergy Medicines Short-Acting:
  • Allergy medicines are called antihistamines.
  • They help control all allergic symptoms.
  • Benadryl or Chlorpheniramine (CTM) products are helpful. No prescription is needed. They need to be given every 6 to 8 hours.
  • The key to control is to give allergy meds every day during pollen season.
Allergy Medicines Long-Acting:
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec) or Loratadine (Claritin) are long-acting allergy medicines. No prescription is needed.
  • Advantage: Causes less sedation than older allergy meds such as Benadryl and CTM. They are long-acting and last up to 24 hours.
  • AGE 2- 6 years old, give 2.5 mg (2.5 ml or 1/2 teaspoon) of liquid syrup. Use once daily in the morning.
  • AGE 6-12 years old, give 5 mg chewable tablet once daily in morning.
  • AGE: 12 years and older, give 10 mg tablet once daily in morning.
  • Downside: Doesn't control allergy symptoms as well as older allergy medicines. Also, sometimes will have breakthrough symptoms before 24 hours. If that happens, you can give a single dose of Benadryl or CTM.
  • Cost: Ask the pharmacist for a store brand. Reason: Costs less than the brand names.
Warm Liquids:
  • Age over 1 year. Can sip warm fluids such as chicken broth or apple juice.
  • Age over 6 years. Can also suck on cough drops or hard candy. Butterscotch seems to help.
  • Age over 8 years. Can also gargle. Use warm water with a little table salt added. A liquid antacid can be added instead of salt. Use Mylanta or the store brand. No prescription is needed.
Rest the Voice:
  • Avoid yelling and screaming. (Reason: causes vocal cord strain.)
  • Have your child try to talk as little as possible. He or she can also write notes for a few days.
  • Also, avoid clearing the throat. (Reason: Can make hoarseness worse.)
Avoid Tobacco Smoke:
  • Tobacco smoke makes hoarseness and coughs much worse.
Wash Pollen Off Body:
  • Remove pollen from the hair and skin with shampoo and a shower. This is really important before bedtime.
What to Expect:
  • Hoarseness from an allergic substance that can be avoided should go away in hours. Examples are a reaction to pets, a barn, raking leaves or air pollution.
  • Hoarseness during pollen season can last 4-8 weeks. It may return whenever you don't give the allergy medicine. It can flare-up whenever the pollen count goes high.
Return to School:
  • Your child does not need to miss any school for allergies.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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