Children With Hay Fever More Likely To Experience Headaches, Facial Pain

Armen Hareyan's picture

Children who suffer from bouts of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) are also more likely to suffer from headaches, facial pain, and ear aches than children without these allergies, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, IL.

Allergic rhinitis is a collection of symptoms predominantly in the nose and eyes, caused by airborne particles of dust, dander, or plant pollens. Patients usually suffer from congestion, runny noses, itchy eyes, and cough. Researchers used the Pediatric Allergies in America study, a national survey of parents of 500 children with current symptoms of nasal allergies and 504 children without nasal allergies, to further determine if children suffered additional problematic side effects of allergic rhinitis.


Parents of children with allergic rhinitis reported to researchers that their children had an increased occurrence of headaches (55 percent vs. 19 percent), facial pain/pressure (29 percent vs. 3 percent), and ear pain/pressure (23 percent vs. 5 percent) compared with parents reports of children without hay fever.

Furthermore, headache, facial pain/pressure, and ear pain/pressure were rated moderately or extremely bothersome by more than half of parents and older children who reported the symptoms.

Researchers note that the results of their study suggest facial symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis may be under-appreciated sources of discomfort for many children, and that failure to recognize these additional symptoms may reduce diagnoses and effective treatment of nasal allergies in children.