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Why does my son sneeze a lot?

Q: My 21 years old son is a chronic sneezer and suffers from cold and sneezing frequently. Is there any remedy?

A:If your son aged 10 years old is having cold and sneezing repeatedly since childhood, it might be due to an allergy probably to some food item or dust. The allergen i.e. the particles which produce allergy, might lurk within the dust from pets, bed, curtains, old books and wood rafters on old ceilings. The ubiquitous diesel fumes also have a tendency to create such nuisance. Avoidance of such dust is the best solution. Avoid dusting, cover the bedding with thin plastic sheets, cover the nose while travelling, etc would help. However, not all of them are practically possible. The commonest portal of entry of allergens is the nose; hence, a nasal spray may help. A nasal (steroid) spray takes a few days to act and your son will have to regularly use it for lasting benefit. If you son has wheezing in addition, you may have to add a steroid inhaler also. Avoidance in the case of food allergy is more difficult, because identification of the specific food ingredient is difficult. If you can pinpoint the offending ingredient, you can avoid the same and be free. However, in the absence of incontrovertible proof, denial of simple pleasures of the palate is cruel. There are some tests that can be done to find the offending allergen. Based on such an inference, certain desensitising injection regimens also can be started. Unfortunately, the tests looking for allergens and the desensitisation regimens are wrought with inconsistencies and controversies. Avoidance of allergens is the only proven and safe way out. A personal consultation with a medical specialist, who is familiar with allergy, will be very helpful to your son. If the doctor advises an ENT consult, please do so. Certain conditions in ENT may, when identified and treated, may completely eliminate or at the least ameliorate the allergy.

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