“Approximately 40 to 50 per cent of children in Singapore suffer from allergic rhinitis,” observes Prof Goh. This allergic inflammation of the nasal airways is often triggered by environmental factors, such as exposure to dust, haze and cigarette smoke.
“Children with allergic rhinitis usually suffer from prolonged episodes of cough, runny nose, sneezing or blocked nose. Some may also snore in their sleep when their nose gets very congested,” she says. While there is currently no known cure for allergic rhinitis, Prof Goh says that children may be prescribed antihistamines or even steroid nasal sprays to help alleviate their symptoms.