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Can Allergies Cause Asthma Attacks

Physical Exercise / Activities

Exercise can also cause the symptoms of asthma because of a higher respiratory rate that leads to dryer air. This makes it difficult for your airways to breathe, resulting in lower stamina, cough, wheezing, and other asthma symptoms.

This is called bronchoconstriction caused by exercise or asthma generally associated with exercise.

Why Do Animals And Pets Trigger Asthma Symptoms

People often think their asthma is triggered by animal hair, but if pets are a trigger for you, youre probably allergic to proteins found in the animal’s flakes of skin , saliva, urine or even fine particles from bird feathers known as feather dust.

Touching or inhaling these allergens causes your immune system to overreact, leading to your asthma symptoms getting worse.

Lots of pets can trigger allergic asthma symptoms, from cats, dogs and horses, to rabbits, hamsters, mice and gerbils, and birds. You might be allergic to just one type of animal or more than one.

Animal allergies can develop at any stage of life. Even if you had a pet when you were younger and didnt react to it, you could be allergic to the same type of animal now.

Alternative Pet Ideas For Children With Asthma

If your children love animals but can’t keep a household pet, here are some other ways they could feel connected to an animal:

  • Sponsor an animal through a zoo, safari park or charity scheme.
  • Get your child a substitute pet such as an interactive toy like a Furby or Little Live Pet, or an animal app. Virtual pets let children feel like theyre caring for an animal without the risk of triggering asthma symptoms.

Know Your Triggers To Help Manage And Control Symptoms

There is no set cure for asthma it can only be and treated. Once you identify your triggers through a skin or blood test, you can come up with the best plan for managing and controlling your symptoms.

Knowing your triggers and avoiding them can help prevent or control an allergy-induced asthma episode. The AFAA advises people not to leave food or crumbs in living quarters to prevent pests like cockroaches; fix leaks to prevent mold; wash bedding in hot water and use mattress and pillow covers to protect against dust mites; vacuum pet dander; and wear a mask when outdoors.

For some with allergic asthma, allergy medications may help avert or alleviate symptoms. If your allergies are extremely severe, you should consider seeing a doctor to discuss a treatment plan that may involve a prescription like . Some over-the-counter options may help those with mild allergy symptoms. These include:

  • Steroids
  • Decongestants
  • Saline nasal sprays

To treat an asthma attack, there are both short-term and long-term options for relief. Short-term options seek to relax the narrowing muscles in the airways and ease the flow of air. The goal of long-term medications is to control and reduce inflammation in the airways and make them less sensitive to triggering allergens.

Asthma medications may be inhaled through a nebulizer or an . A is a machine that uses a mask to convert medication into a mist that is more easily inhaled into the lungs.

Additional reporting by Nicol Natale.

Can Allergies Trigger Asthma

Treating Acute Asthma Attacks

Kratz Allergy

Allergies and asthma are closely related conditions. An allergic reaction can trigger an asthma attack for people with asthma, causing allergy-induced asthma or allergic asthma. This makes it crucial for people with asthma to be aware of allergens and how they can spur asthma attacks.

Here, well discuss the link between allergies and asthma and offer tips for managing both conditions.  

Will I Have Allergic Asthma For My Entire Life

There isnt a cure for allergic asthma. However, you can control your symptoms and take care to control your environment avoiding an asthma attack. Your allergic asthma can be worse at certain times during the year. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage your symptoms and the best medications to control your asthma. Allergic asthma is very common and you can live a normal life with this condition.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Allergic asthma is a very common condition that many people experience throughout their lives. Though there isnt a cure for this type of asthma, it can be controlled. You can control you condition by learning about your triggers and taking steps to avoid a reaction. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage your environment and avoid asthma attacks.

Are Allergies And Asthma Related

Allergies and asthma are related conditions linked by a common airway. They both affect our breathing by blocking the free passage of air between the nose and the lungs.

With allergies, the obstruction occurs in the upper area of the airway when the layers of the nose become inflamed. Sneezing helps to clear the mucus from the upper part of the airway. With asthma, the breathlessness and wheezing are caused by a narrowing of the bronchioles. Inflammation of the small airways layers may cause mucus to increase, making the obstruction worse. The dry cough that develops in the airways helps to clear out the mucus.                                            An allergic reaction in the lungs can develop into asthma, so its important to immediately address the symptoms to control both conditions.

Did You Know:

Is There Such Thing As A Hypoallergenic Cat

If you suffer from allergy induced asthma brought on by exposure to cats, but really want to care for a kitty of your own, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic breed. There is certainly no guarantee that these breeds will prevent your asthma attacks, however these cats have been specially bred to produce less of the problematic Fel D1 protein and may be a better choice for you.

Here are a few breeds of hypoallergenic cats that you may want to find out more about:

  • Bengal

Asthma Signs And Symptoms

  • Pain or tightness in the chest

  • Sleeping problem due to breathing, wheezing or coughing

  • Wheezing sound while exhaling

  • The need for inhaler frequently

  • Medication

Contact Oklahoma allergy and asthma clinic, OKOA for allergy treatment.

**Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a doctor’s advice, nor does it create any form of patient-doctor relationship.

Is Asthma A Psychological Disorder

Asthma is not a psychological or emotional disorder, but sometimes a physical display of strong emotion such as shouting, crying, laughing or rapid breathing may contribute to an asthma episode. Panic can prevent a person with asthma from relaxing and following instructions properly, which is essential during an attack. Medical scientists have found that behaviors associated with strong emotions can cause bronchial tubes to constrict, which may provoke or worsen an attack.A chronic disease, such as asthma, can cause emotional strain. Depression may set in when those with asthma believe they cannot participate in normal activities. As a leading cause of work and school absences, asthma can have a significant effect on livelihood, education and emotional well-being.

The Asthma Is Usually Linked To Allergic Rhinitis

Environmental allergies can affect your airway in unique ways:

  • Allergic rhinitis affects your nose and sinuses, and may cause sneezing, congestion, and an itchy nose and eyes.
  • mainly affects your lungs, and may cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath or rapid breathing.

But when you have allergic asthma, youll likely develop both sets of symptoms at once.

In children, the signs can be more subtle, notes Dr. Purcell. Kids may say theyre too tired to play, but parents should check for wheezing or coughing. If the other kids are running around playing, and your child wants to sit on the sidelines, he or she may be having trouble breathing, he says.

Petting Zoos And Farms

Some people are allergic to farm animals like cows, sheep and chickens, as well as small animals that are often found in petting zoos, like guinea pigs and rabbits. 

This could be a problem for children in particular, who might go on a school trip or to a party at a petting zoo or farm, but schools have to make sure that pupils with medical conditions like asthma are able to take part in school trips. 

If your child is visiting a farm or petting zoo, make sure the adults who are going with them know about their asthma.

Its essential for your child to take their reliever inhaler with them, and if the school has a spare inhaler for emergency use, an adult accompanying the trip should take that with them, too.

Your child might need to take an antihistamine beforehand. They should avoid contact with the animals as much as possible, and always wash their hands after touching an animal. 

If Your Asthma Symptoms Are Caused By Allergies Take Steps To Control Knownor Potential Triggers In Your Environment


Allergy-proof your house for dust, mold, cockroaches, and other common indoor allergens to which you are allergic.

 Reduce your outdoor activities when the pollen count or ozone level is high.

 Choose foods that dont contribute to your asthma or allergy symptoms.

 Evaluate your workplace for possible allergens and take the necessary steps to reduce your exposure to them.


In order to determine relevant triggers, you may want to seek consultation with an allergist who can further define these triggers.

In addition, anyone with asthma should consider getting an annual flu shot. Older adults also should talk with their internist about getting a pneumonia vaccination.


Food Allergies And Asthma: What Is The Connection

Previously, the doctors were only aware of airborne allergies that can cause asthma.

But today, it has been recognized that food allergies can also trigger the asthma attack for patients suffering from respiratory disorders.

While it is true that having food allergies does not always cause asthma, but in many cases coexistence of asthma and food allergy is evident.

Studies reveal that in case asthma and food allergy exist at the same time, the symptoms of the asthma attack can be severe and life-threatening.

How Does Food Trigger Asthma Attacks?

When your body gets in contact with a particular allergy-causing food, the immune system of the body overreacts to release histamine chemical. This chemical is the major factor which is responsible for showing the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

These symptoms may include sneezing, sore throat, itchy and watery eyes, itchiness of the skin, etc.

Now, if you are suffering from asthma, this food allergy can also trigger symptoms like coughing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, chest tightness, etc.

These asthma symptoms which are mainly triggered due to food allergy, often makes it confusing for people to understand whether it is a usual asthma attack or asthma triggered due to an allergic reaction.

To get the confirmation, it is best to check with your asthma doctor. After a few tests, they can let you know exactly about the causes of the allergic reactions and the type of food allergen you are suspecting to do them harm.

What Is Food Allergy

Food allergy is defined as a reaction of an immune system which mainly occurs soon after the body consumes a certain food.

This generally happens when our body identifies certain food to be harmful or allergic thereby causing few reactions and medical symptoms in our body which needs special treatment.

These particular foods which cause an allergic reaction in the body are certainly identified as allergens for these types of individuals.

While for some people, the reaction can be mild or uncomfortable; it can be severe, intolerable and life-threatening for others.

The Different Types Of Pollen

  • Tree pollen is a common hay fever trigger. Its the first pollen to be released during hay fever season, and levels are typically highest from late March to mid-May.
  • Around 95% of peoples hay fever is triggered by grass pollen, which tends to be highest between mid-May and July. In fact, theres strong evidence that when grass pollen levels are high, people with asthma are more likely to need hospital treatment.
  • Hay fever can also be triggered by weed pollen, which is highest from the end of June until September.

Anaphylaxis Is Potentially Life Threatening

An anaphylactic reaction, or anaphylaxis, is an extreme allergic reaction that can be life threatening without prompt medical treatment. A life-saving injection of adrenaline, administered through an auto-injector , is required to treat anaphylaxis to prevent permanent injury or death. 

The onset of symptoms can occur immediately or steadily get worse over time. 

Some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis include: 

  • persistent cough
  • a strange taste in the mouth 
  • swelling of the tongue 

Treatments To Help Allergies And Asthma

Most treatments target either asthma or allergies. Some methods specifically treat symptoms related to allergic asthma.

  • Montelukast is a medication primarily prescribed for asthma that can help with both allergy and asthma symptoms. Its taken as a daily pill and helps to control your bodys immune reaction.
  • Allergy shots work by introducing small amounts of the allergen into your body. This allows your immune system to build up tolerance. This approach is also called immunotherapy. It usually requires a series of regular injections over several years. The optimal number of years has not been determined, but most people receive injections for at least three years.
  • Anti-immunoglobulin E immunotherapy targets the chemical signals that cause the allergic reaction in the first place. Its usually only recommended for people with moderate to severe persistent asthma, for whom standard therapy has not worked. An example of anti-IgE therapy is omalizumab .

Foods That Can Trigger Asthma Attack

People who suffer from asthma are often allergic to certain foods as well. Coming into contact with these food allergies can lead to severe allergic reactions. Signs and symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, difficulties breathing, coughing, etc., will get worse. Certain foods can cause a greater risk for a severe and life threatening asthma attack. For this reason, it is very important to avoid the foods that you are allergic to. Good news is that only few people who suffer with asthma need a special diet.

Hay Fever Pollution Hot Weather And Thunderstorms

Lots of people find their hay fever is worse when theres high pollution, especially when hot weather makes pollution worse. Pollution molecules stick to pollen grains, so they hang about in the air longer and are harder to get out of your airways.

Thunderstorms can also cause your symptoms to flare up, because they smash pollen into tiny bits that go deeper into your lungs.

These three steps will reduce your risk of an asthma attack from pollen combined with heat and/or pollution or thunder:

  • Make sure you carry your reliever inhaler. If you need to use it three or more times a week, book an urgent GP appointment.
  • Try to stay away from the trigger dont go out, or exercise, in the heat or if pollution is high. You could use a weather app on your phone to get weather and pollen alerts.
  • Take hay fever medicines to help reduce the allergic reaction thats making your asthma worse see our hay fever treatments page.
  • Next review due March 2023

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    Can Cat Allergies Cause An Asthma Attack


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    Mold Allergy Symptoms And Causes

    Mold is present both indoors and outdoors. It can also trigger both allergies and asthma attacks. If mold particles are floating through the air invisible to you, then you could inhale them as you go about your daily life without realizing.

    Like other environmental allergens, mold spores can trigger hay fever-like symptoms such as:

    • Runny nose
    • Sneezing
    • Itchy/watery eyes

    In patients with both mold allergy and asthma, asthma symptoms may be triggered by mold exposure.  Signs of an asthma attack include:

    • Coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest tightness

    Most  symptoms caused by mold are uncomfortable, but not serious.  However, there are certain allergic conditions that can be more severe.  These include:

    • Allergic fungal sinusitis. This is a type of sinus infection caused by an inflammatory response to fungus in the sinuses. The sinuses get blocked up with fungal debris and thick mucus.
    • Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis or mycosis: Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold found in soil. It can cause an inflammatory damage in the lungs, which is more common in patients with asthma or cystic fibrosis.
    • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: This rare immune system disorder which is triggered by airborne particles including mold spores. It causes swelling in the alveoli  of your lung which make it more difficult for the oxygen to reach your bloodstream.

    Can Yeasts Cause Allergies And Asthma

    Systemicyeast infections can cause chronic yeast allergies and asthma,creatingrespiratory distress,which affectsover 50 million Americans yearly.

    • In the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 1995, Kaufman states that fungus has the ability to colonize the lungs and induce an inflammatory reaction“. Resulting in asthmatic reactions calledfungal asthma.
    • Dr. C. A. Kaufman states “each year in the US the fungi Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, and Coccidioides immitis cause more pulmonary infections than bacteria.”
    • C.C. Kibbler says these fungi routinely infect persons with apparently normal immunity.”

    Dr. C. Orion Truss, a pioneer in the study of systemic yeast infections and their relation to diseases and symptoms, states in his book that once the mucous membranes become inflamed by their allergic response to yeast products, infection begins to occur with great regularity at random sites from the nose to the lungs.”

    Professor R.J. Hay states that hay fever or asthma due to molds like Aspergillus, Alternaria, and Penicillium account for up to 15% of respiratory allergies.” That translates into one in six people’s allergies are beingcaused by fungi.

    In a 2005 study that was published in Environmental Health Perspectives in October of 2005, it was found that exposure to environmental yeasts and molds within the home before the age of 3 months, resulted in an increased incidence of allergic rhinitis by 5years of age.

    Dr. Atmika Paudel says…

    Food Chemicals That May Cause Asthma

    Intolerance to food chemicals is dose-related, which means the symptoms get worse as more of the chemical is ingested. 

    Some of the food chemicals that are known to trigger asthma in susceptible people include: 

    • sulphites such as sulphur dioxide and sodium metabisulphite. These additives are often used in processed foods as preservatives. Common sources include wine, fruit juices, canned fish and dried fruit
    • food colourings such as the yellow food dye tartrazine. Food colourings very rarely trigger asthma attacks. Generally, if a person with asthma reacts to one food colouring, they should make sure to avoid eating any food colourings
    • monosodium glutamate this is a naturally occurring chemical, frequently used as an additive to enhance flavour, particularly in savoury snack foods. Foods that contain high concentrations of MSG include stock cubes, gravy, soy sauce and packet soups. Hydrolysed vegetable protein is sometimes added to foods in place of MSG, and may trigger asthma in people who are sensitive to MSG
    • salicylates naturally occurring salicylates are also present in many foods, including instant coffee, soy sauce, tomato paste and sauce, beer and honey. The drug aspirin is also a salicylate. Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also trigger dangerous attacks in people who are sensitive to aspirin. Around five to 10 per cent of people with asthma are sensitive to salicylates. 

    Foods That Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

    Peanuts and Nuts Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

    According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology , more than 3 million people in the U.S. have allergies to various foods, including peanuts. Peanut allergies are the most common of the “nut” allergies, even though a peanut is not technically a nut. Peanut allergies can cause serious allergic reactions and even , a condition that requires emergency medical care.

    Allergic responses can happen to anyone at any age, even if you have been eating a certain food for many years. Some of the other foods that may trigger asthma are milk and other dairy products, eggs, soy and wheat, and seafood. An allergic reaction to eating different types of seafood can also be serious and can cause anaphylactic shock. Seafood allergies can also trigger an asthma attack.

    Dairy and Eggs Are Capable of Triggering Asthma Attacks

    Children are most often affected by dairy and egg allergies, but adults can have them as well. Doctors often suggest soy milk if a patient is allergic tomilk and dairy products, but soy is also one of the most common allergy-causing foods. It is highly possible that someone allergic to dairy foods or eggs could have an asthma attack after eating ice cream or another food with a high dairy and/or egg content.

    Soy and Wheat Might Cause An Asthma Attack

    What Allergies Cause Asthma

    Inhaled allergens. The most important allergens for people with allergic asthma appear to be those asthma triggers that are inhaled. Hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs when a person comes in contact with an allergen or a substance that they are sensitive to. Common inhaled allergens include:

    • Animal dander
    • Pollen

    Medical experts recommend that all people with allergies and asthma try to identify possible inhaled allergens that may trigger asthma symptoms.

    If you can avoid coming in contact with the substance you are allergic to , you may be able to prevent symptoms of an asthma attack.

    Food allergies. Food allergies rarely cause , yet they can cause a severe life-threatening reaction called . The condition can lead to symptoms that include trouble breathing, , an itchy , low blood pressure, and . The most common foods linked with allergic symptoms are:

    • Eggs
    • Tree nuts
    • Soy
    • Fish
    • Shrimp and other shellfish

    Food preservatives can also trigger allergic and asthmatic reactions. Additives, such as sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite, are often used in food processing or preparation and may be found in foods such as:

    • Dried fruits or vegetables
    • Potatoes
    • Wine and beer
    • Bottled lime or lemon juice
    • Shrimp
    • Pickled foods

    If you suspect that certain foods may be the cause of your , discuss it with your doctor. You can have allergy skin testing to find out if you are allergic to these foods.

    Know Your Pollen Triggers

    You can be allergic to more than one kind of pollen across the year. Different pollens are released at different times, but our changeable weather makes it hard to predict exactly when. If you have hay fever symptoms all year round you might have non-allergic rhinitis

    • If you regularly get hay fever and take , start taking them up to four weeks before you normally get symptoms. Starting them early means that when pollen starts being released, the medication has already built up in your bloodstream so you may be less likely to react.
    • If you usually use a steroid nasal spray, it can take up to two weeks to start working, so again, start using it before your personal pollen trigger is released.

    Use our pollen calendar

    To work out which pollen sets off your hay fever, note the days when your symptoms are bad. Use our pollen calendar to see which pollen could be your trigger, and when its likely to be released.

    How Do You Know If You Are Having An Asthma Attack

    An asthma attack happens when the body is exposed to a triggerlike pollen or smokethat causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen.

    Asthma attacks are uncomfortable to experience and can be frightening, especially for children. If you or someone you know is having any of the following symptoms, they may be having an asthma attack:

    • Difficulty breathing 
    • Chest tightness or pain 
    • Coughing or wheezing

    An asthma attack may go away after a few minutes with proper treatment, but symptoms can last longer and become life-threatening if untreated. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know is having a severe asthma attack with one or more of the following symptoms:

    • A feeling of panic about the asthma attack
    • Pale and sweaty face
    • Lips or fingernails that are turning blue
    • No improvement in symptoms after using an inhaler


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