The respiratory tract (airways) of your child forms the connection between the outside world and the lungs. In the alveoli, inhaled oxygen is transferred to the blood and carbon dioxide is exhaled.
The airways can be classified in the upper respiratory tract (A) and the lower respiratory tract (B). The upper respiratory tract consist of ears, sinuses, nose, mouth and throat. The lower respiratory tract consist of the trachea, the bronchi (smaller branches) and the lung (tissue and alveoli).
An allergic reaction in the upper respiratory tract is often seen in a grass and/or tree pollen allergy, a house dust mites allergy and a pet allergy. Food allergies can also result in allergic symptoms of the upper respiratory tract. An allergic reaction in the lower respiratory tract is regularly seen in an allergy to house dust mites and an allergy to domestic pets but also in more severe reactions such as in insect sting allergy and food allergy.
Allergic reactions in the upper respiratory tract
An allergic reaction in the upper respiratory tract is also called allergic rhinitis. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal mucosa due to an allergic reaction. There are different types of rhinitis.
Trees and grasses release pollen in their flowering season. They produce small, light, dry pollen granules in large quantities that can be carried through the air for miles. Tree and/or grass pollen can cause allergic symptoms in people who are sensitized. An allergy to grass and/or tree pollen is also known as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis. Chronic rhinitis is more common if allergic to domestic pets and/or house dust mites, these symptoms can occur throughout the entire year.
Below a number of symptoms are stated which can be caused by an allergic reaction. These symptoms are all related to the upper respiratory tract:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy nose
- Clogged ears
- Itchy ears
- Irritated throat
Allergic reactions in the lower respiratory tract
An allergic reaction in the lower respiratory tract is also called allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways due to an allergic reaction. Asthma causes respiratory symptoms.
Below a number of symptoms are stated which can be caused by an allergic reaction. These symptoms are all related to the lower respiratory tract:
- Shortness of breath
- Screeching breathing
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Asthma symptoms
Respiratory symptoms in allergy are common in combination with eye conditions, also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis.