Do your kids sometimes get coughs which refuse to go away? Mine do. Sometimes, these coughs are not really viral nor bacterial in nature -- but are caused by allergies.

When a cough has stayed too long (e.g. more than 2 weeks) with my kids and assuming that they do not have any fever, I take them to our pediatrician for a check-up. Most often than not, the doctor will say that the cough can be caused by allergies to pollen or something else so she will prescribe an antihistamine like good old Virlix. Once the Virlix kicks in, the cough is usually gone in about 3 days or so.

How does the doctor know it's an allergic cough? From the sound I guess and from the "allergic shiners" around my kids' eyes. And I thought they were just eyebags from either sleeping too little or too much.

I still don't know exactly what my kids are allergic too. Their allergies have not been that problematic so I haven't gone to the extent of getting them to take an allergy test. In previous years, doctors usually recommended skin prick testing to find out what you're allergic to. The procedure, they say, is quite uncomfortable, especially for kids, and usually reveals that you are allergic to just most of the things around you.

These days, there are new allergy screening methods which just require one blood sample to be able to test you and/or your children for multiple allergens. You can inquire from a company like Hi-Precision Diagnostics about such tests. I have not tried them personally nor do I know of anyone who has but they may be worth checking out. This is not an endorsement of them though.

They have branches in Quezon City, Manila, Las Pinas, and Cebu City. You may reach their head office at 413-7950 or you can also visit their website at

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, August 10, 2007]

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