Kid having trouble in school? Maybe it’s allergies! Doctor Radio is here to help.

Ah, spring. Sunshine, fresh air, sneezing, sniffling, itchy eyes …

Approximately 50 million Americans deal with allergies and allergic rhinitis — and that number is on the rise. Doctor Radio (Ch. 81) is tackling the issue and talking about how to find relief. Tune in for their Coping with Allergies special on May 5 at 3 pm, May 9 at 7 pm and May 10 at noon ET. And consider this advice about kids with allergies from Dr. Paul Ehrlich, author of Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide.

Are your children having trouble living up to their potential in school? Allergies can have a profound effect on their academic performance and long-term intellectual development. These are the kinds of things I tell pediatricians in my lectures:

• Children with perennial allergic rhinitis have significant sleep disturbance.
• Disruption of nighttime sleep impairs daytime wakefulness, cognitive functioning, psychomotor speed and coordination, and mood.
• In a study of fifty-four first graders with obstructive sleep apnea, twenty-four underwent tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. The mean grades of treated students during the second grade increased significantly. No academic improvement occurred in the untreated group.
• Nasal congestion associated with allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea.
• A survey of 400 parents with allergic and nonallergic children found that allergic children were significantly more withdrawn and drowsy.
• A common problem in allergic rhinitis is inflammation and fluid in the Eustachian tubes, the tubes that go from the nasopharynx to the middle ear, which was found to be strongly related to inattentiveness and over-talkativeness.

Many of the symptoms of sleep disturbance overlap with those for ADHD. It would be terrible if a child ended up on Ritalin when they really should be on Claritin.

Don’t forget to tune in to Doctor Radio (Ch. 81) to hear more from Dr. Paul Ehrlich and other allergy specialists on May 5, 3-4 pm ET.

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