My Blog
By Farnoush Jamali
February 28, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare

Sneezing. Watery eyes. Stuffy nose. These could just be symptoms of a cold or these could be signs that your child has allergies. If you notice that your child’s symptoms flare-up during certain times of the year then this could definitely be a sign of seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can impact everything from performance in school to participating in outdoor activities such as school sports. If you suspect that your child may have allergies it’s important to talk with your pediatrician.

Childhood Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can also seem a lot like a cold or other upper respiratory problems. Common symptoms associated with allergies include:

  • Watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes or puffy eyelids
  • Ear pain and chronic ear problems
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness

So, how can you tell that your child is dealing with allergies and not an infection? Some telltale signs include itchy eyes and nose, which are classic signs of allergies. If your child has a fever this is usually a sign of an infection and not allergies. Unlike a cold, allergy symptoms can last for weeks. You may also notice that your child’s symptoms come and go, appearing more often during the spring and fall months. Again, this is a trademark of childhood allergies.

Treating Childhood Allergy

There are many ways in which a pediatrician can help your child manage their allergy symptoms, and the treatments that are recommended will depend on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Most treatment plans include a variety of lifestyle changes and medication. Children with minor symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, while other children may require a prescription-strength allergy medication to tackle more moderate to severe symptoms.

Lifestyle modifications may include using a dehumidifier in your child’s bedroom, wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy seasons, bathing immediately after being outdoors, limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, and keeping pets out of bedrooms (if your child suffers from pet dander allergies).

For severe or unresponsive allergies, your pediatrician may recommend immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Allergy shots may be a good option for your child when other treatment options and medications have not been successful.

Are your child’s allergy symptoms impacting their daily routine? If so, our pediatricians can help them manage their symptoms so they can get back to enjoying days on the playground and time spent with family.

By Farnoush Jamali
February 24, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: ear infection  

Painful and concerning. That's what ear infections, or otitis media, are. If you suspect your child has one, please contact Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD, for an evaluation. Your pediatricians, Dr. Farnough Jamali and Dr. Vahid Khajoee treat these uncomfortable conditions, helping young children feel better fast.

The details on pediatric ear infections

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that 80 percent of children school-age and younger experience at least one episode of otitis media. Caused by bacteria introduced after the flu or other upper respiratory infection, ear infections easily attack the young immune system. They also take advantage of the horizontal position of a child's eustachian tube which connects the ear to the throat.

Sadly, some youngsters suffer repeated middle ear infections, resulting in many missed school days and even delays in speech and language development due to muffled hearing. That's why your pediatricians urge a visit to their office in Gaithersburg, MD, for a proper evaluation and treatment as needed.

Signs your child has an ear infection

If your child exhibits the following symptoms, you can suspect he or she has an ear infection:

  • Pain (babies will tug at the affected ear)
  • Fussiness
  • Crying
  • Inability to sleep
  • Fever
  • Drainage from the ear
  • Impaired balance

On examination with a lighted pneumatic otoscope, your child's doctor will see a dullness to the eardrum and rigidity when a puff of air is introduced into the ear canal. Also, Dr. Jamali or Dr. Khaojee may perform a simple tympanogram that sends sound waves into the eardrum and measures its reaction.

Treating ear infections

While some mild ear infections resolve in a few days, many worsen and require treatment with an antibiotic. Children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen alleviates pain and fever. Your child should feel better relatively quickly. However, fluid may remain behind the eardrum for several days to weeks.

Some children get ear infections on a continuing basis. These chronic illnesses may require intervention with ear tubes, small surgically-placed tubes that ventilate the middle ear.

Preventing ear infections

Sometimes there's little a parent can do to prevent otitis media. Some children are more prone than others to get the infection. However, here are some common-sense strategies which should help limit the number and severity of the infections:

  • As a family, practice good and frequent hand washing.
  • Avoid crowds during peak flu and cold season.
  • Do not prop a bottle in your child's crib at bedtime.
  • Keep your child home from daycare or school when he or she seems ill.

Learn more

At Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD, our pediatricians and their support team know how to identify common childhood illnesses, such as ear infections. They'll work with you on a treatment plan to keep your child well. Call us for a sick appointment or with any questions you have about ear infections: (301) 977-2440.

By Farnoush Jamali
February 13, 2020
Category: Safety
Tags: Bronchitis  

How your children’s doctors in Gaithersburg, Maryland can help your child feel better.

Bronchitis can make your child feel miserable and it can dramatically affect your child’s ability to breathe freely. The children’s doctors at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, Maryland Dr. Farnough Jamali and Dr. Vahid Khajoee offer a wide range of healthcare services for children, including effective treatment for bronchitis.

Bronchitis is an infection of the bronchi, the main airways of the lungs, and it can be acute or chronic. The bronchi become inflamed, causing a persistent severe cough, often with mucus. Your child may also experience wheezing and a sore throat. Early-stage bronchitis often has symptoms similar to a common cold. It can be difficult to diagnose bronchitis until the condition has fully developed.

If your child has bronchitis, it’s important for your child to rest, drink fluids, and take over-the-counter medications like Tylenol. You should seek out the help of your pediatrician if you notice that your child has:

  • A severe cough
  • A constant fever for more than three days
  • A cough that brings up mucus streaked with blood

You should also seek out your pediatrician if your child has an underlying condition like asthma, which can make symptoms much worse.

The treatment for bronchitis involves managing the symptoms by getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, and taking medication to reduce fever, chills, and other symptoms. Antibiotics aren’t typically used to treat bronchitis unless your child runs a risk of developing pneumonia or has a weakened immune system.

If your child suffers from frequent episodes of bronchitis, your pediatrician may suggest an evaluation for asthma or underlying allergies.

Your child doesn’t have to suffer from bronchitis or other lung-related health problems. Your pediatricians can help your child feel better fast. To find out more about bronchitis symptoms and treatments, and other children’s health services, call the children’s doctors at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, Maryland, today.

By Farnoush Jamali
January 31, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Child Care   Diabetes  

With the rise of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children in the US, it’s now more important than ever for both parents and children to understand ways to prevent diabetes, as well as being able to identify the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A pediatrician is an integral part of your child’s health, providing everything from screenings and vaccines to routine checkups and lifestyle recommendations to ensure that your child stays healthy.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects glucose levels in the body. When the cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin do not produce enough insulin or are insulin resistant, this results in diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed during childhood and is not the result of a poor diet or being overweight. In those with Type 1 diabetes the cells in the pancreas are unable to produce enough insulin. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes in children.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is also becoming increasingly common in children because of the high rates of obesity. Type 2 diabetes means that the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Ensuring that your child eats right, gets regular exercise and maintains a healthy weight can greatly reduce your child’s risk for type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of childhood diabetes?

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes will appear suddenly, while type 2 symptoms will develop over time. Symptoms may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Cuts or sores that don’t heal
  • Dark patches of skin

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child it’s best to see a pediatrician right away. The sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner your child can get the proper medication and treatment they need to manage their blood sugar levels. By managing your child’s diabetes right away our doctors can prevent potentially serious complications and hospitalizations.

How is diabetes treated?

There are a variety of lifestyle modifications and medications that will be recommended to help treat your child’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes. For both forms of diabetes, a healthy diet and active lifestyle are paramount. Talk with your doctor about what foods your child should avoid. You will also want to monitor your child’s glucose levels during the day to make sure that the insulin medication is working effectively.

All children should visit their pediatricians regularly for checkups, vaccines and care. Of course, if your child displays any symptoms of diabetes, call our office immediately.

By Farnoush Jamali
January 23, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Allergies  

Allergies are the immune system's over-reaction to inhalants, pollen, animal dander, drugs, insects, food, air temperature and more. If you suspect your child is dealing with allergies, tell your pediatrician at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg. Dr. Farnough Jamali and Dr. Vahid Khajoee will help you help your child manage symptoms at peak allergy season and throughout the year.

Many children have allergies

In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that more than eight percent of children have allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Many more have allergies to food; in fact, the AAFA says food allergies in children have risen sharply in recent years.

As such, parents and pediatricians must partner in identifying allergies and ways to manage them. At their Gaithersburg practice, Dr. Jamali and Dr. Khajoee encourage parents to track their children's symptoms and to report them during a well or sick office visit. Your pediatrician may refer you to an allergist or order special testing to pinpoint what your child reacts to. With this information in hand, you and your pediatrician can work out a care plan to ease symptoms and keep your child active and happy.

Symptoms of allergies

Everyone is different; however, most children who have seasonal allergies (or indoor allergies) exhibit signs such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy, puffy watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Headache along the forehead and cheeks
  • GI upset such as nausea and vomiting

Anaphylactic allergic reactions to insect vectors (bee stings), shellfish, peanuts or latex may be life-threatening, producing symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness

Managing allergies

Besides medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and allergy shots, your child's doctor may recommend preventive measures such as:

  • Closing the windows in your house during the peak pollen season.
  • Wearing a pollen-filtering mask when cutting the lawn.
  • Washing face and hands and even changing clothes when coming in from outdoors.
  • Vacuuming all soft surfaces in the home regularly and keeping a dust cover on the mattress and bed pillow.
  • Humidifying the air in your house.
  • Applying a cold compress to puffy eyes and aching foreheads and cheeks.

Find out more

Keep your child healthy, happy and in school. Limit his or her allergy symptoms with at-home strategies and a medical care plan from Prime Pediatrics. If you have a question or concern regarding allergies, please call your pediatricians at their Gaithersburg office. Phone (301) 977-2440.

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