Pediatric Allergy and Asthma
Providing Specialized Pediatric Care for Allergy-Related Conditions
Allergists with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health provide expertise in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of allergic conditions. These conditions include:
- Food, animal, medication and latex allergies
- Allergy-induced asthma
- Allergic rhinitis (runny nose and nasal irritation) or nasal allergy
- Anaphylaxis (a serious and sometimes life-threatening allergic reaction)
- Atopic dermatitis (an inflammatory and recurring skin disorder)
- Adverse gastrointestinal food reactions
- Recurrent infections related to immune deficiency conditions
We evaluate for allergy by reviewing your child’s medical history and then selecting specific allergy diagnostic tests that are supported by the history. Allergy testing includes the skin prick test, which is the gold standard for allergy testing. We test for specific, relevant allergens that may include the pollen of trees, grass, weeds, mold spores, specific animal dander, insect parts and venom, foods and drugs. Our allergy program also uses specialized lab tests to help diagnose allergy or immune dysfunction.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that affects an estimated 300 million people worldwide. Asthma is one of the most common chronic medical conditions affecting children. This condition can affect school attendance, parents’ work attendance and overall child and family quality of life. It is important to make an asthma diagnosis and find out what may trigger asthma flares. The allergist approach to treating asthma uses commonly available medications, monitoring and education. As allergists, we help find allergens that may trigger your child’s asthma, educate you on how to avoid them and how to change the immune response to those allergens.
- Learn more about how we treat asthma
Some foods cause adverse reactions. These reactions are categorized as food allergy or food intolerance. We can learn what causes the adverse reaction based on your child’s medical history, a physical exam and testing. We also perform food challenges to make a definitive diagnosis.
- Learn more about food allergies
Though rare, children may have an allergic reaction to medication or a vaccination. There are a number of ways a medication allergy can present. The allergic reaction type is classified by how the reaction occurs. Our allergists can make a diagnosis after discussing your child’s medical history and performing a physical exam. It is important to confirm a medication allergy because this will affect the medications that can be given to your child and may require a desensitization procedure.
- Learn more about medication allergy
Respiratory Tract Allergy
Allergy frequently affects the respiratory tract, and this problem may be even more common in children. We offer evaluations for children with asthma, nasal symptoms, sinus disease and ear infections. We use a state-of-the-art lung function lab skilled in working with children. If your child is diagnosed with respiratory tract allergy, we will provide guidance to you and your child for managing the condition. Treatment of respiratory tract allergy may include environmental control [link to environmental control page], medication and immune therapies.
Recurrent Infections and Immune Deficiency
Our allergy program also includes specialists experienced in clinical immunology. Children with recurrent infections may have an immune dysfunction. Clinical immunology training by our allergists helps them evaluate the function of the immune system. If a deficiency is discovered, these evaluations help guide your family to the next level of care.
- Learn more about recurrent infections
Eosinophilic Esophagitis Specialty Clinic
Eosinophilic esophagitis causes swelling of the esophagus in response to an allergen. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that builds up in the esophagus (the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach) in response to a food or allergen. This build up can inflame the esophagus.
Symptoms in children can include trouble swallowing food, food getting stuck in the esophagus, vomiting, stomach pain, nausea and failure to thrive.
Allergists with Riley at IU Health participate in the Eosinophilic Esophagitis Specialty Clinic, which includes a gastroenterologist, an allergist, a nutritionist and an educator. Children with an established diagnosis and management problems are seen in this multi-specialty clinic.