Earlier this month I wrote about the ups and downs of peanut allergy diagnosis in our family. On one medical visit for my son Dexter's lingering cough, the doctor used a term I had not heard before, but have since come to know well, "The Allergic March". The Allergic March refers to a cluster of allergy-related diseases that occur in childhood. These often occur in a typical sequence, appearing early in life, continuing for many years, but often disappearing or lessening with age.
Here is an example of a typical sequence of Allergic March conditions and symptoms. My son's Allergic March followed this typical pattern:
- Infant eczema
- Food allergy
- Environmental allergy and associated stuffy nose
- Childhood asthma
We have chosen option number 3. Dex uses his blue puffer (Ventolin) during a cold to prevent coughing and bronchial irritation. He uses it no more than four times a week before hockey games or practices where the cold plus the exercise is likely to set him off coughing. So far this year, we are happy with this course of action.
- A Liu. The Allergic March of Childhood. Medical Scientific Update: The National Jewish Medical and Research Center. 2006; 23(1):1-7.
- The Canadian Lung Association
- BR Gordon. The allergic march: can we prevent allergies and asthma? Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2011;44(3):765-77.