Treatments For Allergy Induced Asthma
The most basic treatment for a person with allergy induced asthma is merely to avoid contact with any known allergens. Regularly cleaning the home to keep it dust free, changing air filters often, maintaining a humidity of 35% inside, and remaining indoors can all help a person to avoid any airborne allergies they might have. However, limiting exposure to allergens not always possible. Allergy medications and shots can help to lessen the likelihood of a person being affected by their allergy, and asthma treatments, such as bronchodilator inhalers, are always useful at treating a current asthma attack. There are a few medications which simultaneously treat both the allergy and the asthma. Leukotriene modifiers, such as Singulair, have been successful at lessening the symptoms of both asthma and allergies.
What Does Allergic Asthma Feel Like
Distinguishing between non-allergic vs. allergic asthma can be challenging. This is because the asthma symptoms remain the same cough, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath. The major difference is people with allergic asthma normally experience symptoms after inhaling an allergen. They may also experience other non-respiratory allergy symptoms such as hives on the skin.
Does an asthma attack triggered by allergies feel different than a typical asthma attack? No, there is not really any difference between the two. But if you know you have allergic asthma, you may be able to predict when you may be most at risk for an attack. By knowing what triggers your asthma, you can be extra cautious if exposed.
Is Allergic Asthma Affected By Climate Change
Climate change poses a danger for people with allergic asthma. This is due to an increase in temperatures impacting the start, duration and intensity of pollen allergy seasons and pollen allergenicity. It is especially problematic for people with allergic asthma triggered by pollen. Extreme weather events, such as thunderstorms, may also lead to allergic asthma attacks.
For people with non-allergic asthma, climate change poses a risk when air quality is poor often due to pollutants in the air.
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How Is Allergic Asthma Diagnosed
There are several tests that your healthcare provider can do to diagnose allergic asthma. To pinpoint allergies, your provider may do a blood test or a skin test. In these tests, your provider is looking for the effect of the allergens on your body. For a skin test, possible allergens may be applied to small areas of your skin to see how you react to each one. This can be uncomfortable, but it will show your provider what might be causing the reaction.
Your healthcare provider may also do a few tests to diagnose your asthma. These tests are used to make sure that its asthma thats causing your symptoms and no other medical condition. Tests to diagnose asthma can include:
If you have allergic asthma, your symptoms are typically triggers by something you breathe in. Determining what allergen triggered your symptoms is another part of the diagnosis process for allergic asthma. Try to keep a journal or notes of what happened when you experienced asthma symptoms. If you were outside by freshly cut grass, it could be a pollen allergy. If you were petting a dog, it could be pet dander. Figuring out what you inhaled when your symptoms started can help your provider create a plan to control your allergic asthma.
What Causes Allergic Asthma
The cause of asthma isnt known. However, for those with allergic asthma, the reason symptoms start is related to allergens. This is the main difference between allergic asthma and other types of asthma allergens are inhaled and trigger asthma symptoms. When you experience severe asthma symptoms, its called an asthma attack.
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How Can I Tell The Difference Between Typical Allergies And Allergic Asthma
Allergies and asthma tend to run together, so youll often find people with allergies who also have asthma, Sonali Bose, M.D., associate professor of medicine, pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, and pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF. But there are also a disproportionate number of people who have seasonal allergies without any asthma at all. In fact, more than 50 million people in the U.S. are allergic to something, per the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
The big giveaway that youre dealing with nothing more than plain ol allergies? You have weird nose- and eye-related symptoms without any respiratory action like wheezing, asthmas calling card. Having allergic asthma, however, means your body might pull from a grab bag of typical allergy and asthma symptoms, mixing and matching in a way that causes overlap between the two.
Triggers Of Allergy Induced Asthma
A variety of allergens can trigger an asthma attack, but the most common triggers of allergy induced asthma are airborne allergens. Pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites frequently induce asthma attacks, since they can be inhaled easily. People with allergy induced asthma are more likely to have difficult in dry, windy weather that can irritate the throat and lungs. Food allergies rarely cause asthma attacks, but it is not completely unheard of. In most cases where a person has an asthma attack after eating a food, it is actually due to them being allergic to the sulfites used as a preservative, which can trigger an attack of asthma.
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How An Allergic Reaction Can Cause Asthma Symptoms
If youve ever taken a bite of peanut butter and immediately broken out in hives, youve experienced an allergic reaction. Allergens, like peanut butter in this case, are substances that are inhaled, consumed, touched, or injected into the body that result in an allergic reaction.
When your immune system detects an allergen, even if it mistakes a harmless substance like peanut butter as invasive, it produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E that binds to the allergen, according to Mayo Clinic. This, in turn, causes the release of powerful chemical substances in an effort to protect the body.
Too much IgE results in typical symptoms of an allergic reaction such as:
- Difficulty talking, swallowing, or breathing
And in some cases, allergens may cause mild or severe inflammation in the lungs and airways, triggering symptoms of asthma like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
What Exactly Causes A Reaction
An assortment of everyday substances can cause our immune system to go haywire. If youre exposed to pollen, dust, mold spores, animal fur or saliva, or dust mites or cockroach feces, you may find yourself experiencing an allergic reaction. Candle and tobacco smoke, heavily-scented products, and very cold air, while not technically allergens, can also trigger a reaction.
While some of the reasons behind allergy-induced asthma stem from external stimuli like those mentioned above, genes play a part as well. People who inherit mutated genes are more predisposed to developing allergic asthma than those without the genes. However, as this is a complex condition influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, there is no guarantee the condition will develop fully.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma
The symptoms of asthma include:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing, which causes a whistling sound when you breathe out
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. You may have them every day or only once in a while.
When you are having an asthma attack, your symptoms get much worse. The attacks may come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they can be life-threatening. They are more common in people who have severe asthma. If you are having asthma attacks, you may need a change in your treatment.
Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma
To establish a diagnosis of asthma, the clinician should determine that:
- Episodic symptoms of airflow obstruction or airway hyperresponsiveness are present.
- Airflow obstruction is at least partially reversible.
- Alternative diagnoses are excluded.
Recommended methods to establish the diagnosis are:
- Detailed medical history.
- Physical exam focusing on the upper respiratory tract, chest, and skin.
- Spirometry to demonstrate obstruction and assess reversibility, including in children 5 years of age or older. Reversibility is determined either by an increase in FEV1 of 12 percent from baseline or by an increase 10 percent of predicted FEV1 after inhalation of a short-acting bronchodilator.
Additional studies are not routinely necessary but may be useful when considering alternative diagnoses:
It is important to consider a diagnosis of asthma if certain elements of the clinical history are present they are not diagnostic by themselves but increase the probability of a diagnosis of asthma:
Spirometry is needed to establish a diagnosis of asthma.
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Causes Of Allergy Induced Asthma
The basic cause of an allergy is that the immune system mistakenly believes that a foreign substance is harmful. When this immune system response is happening along the airways of a person who has asthma, this can cause an attack to occur.There is a genetic component to allergy induced asthma, and people are more likely to have the condition if both of their parents have allergies.
Is Allergic Asthma Curable
There is no cure for allergic asthma, but it is manageable. With treatment of your allergies, you may be able to limit the frequency of your symptoms. Allergy immunotherapy can significantly reduce your allergy symptoms or even eliminate them. Not all allergens have immunotherapy options, so discuss the best treatment option with your doctor.
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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.
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Am I Having An Allergic Reaction
Knowing and recognizing symptoms can help you identify if what youre experiencing is, in fact, an allergy-induced asthma attack. These might not appear suddenly, but may occur and worsen slowly, over a few hours or days and include:
-Coughing at night or in the early morning
-Children may also complain of a tummy or chest ache
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What Can I Do To Prevent Allergy
As mentioned earlier, there are a few ways to prevent allergy-induced asthma, including preemptive medication. In conjunction with your normal antihistamine, doctors have found that taking montelukast can ease symptoms for allergies and asthma. However, it will only work if you take it at the same time each day.
If you hate the thought of adding one more thing to your morning schedule, you can also opt for allergy shots. After you undergo an allergy test to determine your triggers, your allergist can prescribe a series of shots designed to weaken your immune response to these allergens. Allergy drops are another increasingly common option to consider.
For asthma-sufferers on a budget, the best thing you can do is avoid your allergy triggers to the best of your ability. Keeping your house clean is a good first step. Many people have found relief with the help of a HIPAA filter and a dehumidifier to lower the levels of allergens in their homes.
For those who have severe allergy symptoms, relying on a nebulizer can help deter these allergic reactions from the start. Better yet, many insurance providers will help bring down the cost of a nebulizer for those who need it. Keep in mind that these machines wont help dust mites, so a good scrubbing and dusting is necessary once in a while.
Allergy-induced asthma can be frustrating but its manageable if you have the right tools. Dont hesitate to reach out to your local allergist or doctor for more information.
Asthma And Pollen Allergies
The pollen from trees, grass or weeds can cause allergy symptoms, including asthma. If you are allergic to pollen, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should take antihistamine tablets or a steroid nasal spray. It is helpful to start taking them before pollen season.
It also makes sense to avoid your exposure to pollen as far as is practical. You will find many useful tips plus additional treatments in our article on pollen allergies.
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How Halza Can Help With Your Allergies
Staying on top of your health problems is easier than ever with the Halza mobile app. Simply go to your profile and add the details of any allergies you might have, then enable viewing access for your medical professionals to ensure they receive up-to-date information from you. Upload your records and share the information with any physician you visit to receive a more conclusive diagnosis.
You can also set reminders on the app for any upcoming appointments with specialists or just use the function to take your medicine regularly. The chat and feed features of the app also allow you to check on family members and keep tabs on their health updates.
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How Is Asthma Diagnosed
Your health care provider may use many tools to diagnose asthma:
- Medical history
- Lung function tests, including spirometry, to test how well your lungs work
- Tests to measure how your airways react to specific exposures. During this test, you inhale different concentrations of allergens or medicines that may tighten the muscles in your airways. Spirometry is done before and after the test.
- Peak expiratory flow tests to measure how fast you can blow air out using maximum effort
- Fractional exhaled nitric oxide tests to measure levels of nitric oxide in your breath when you breathe out. High levels of nitric oxide may mean that your lungs are inflamed.
- Allergy skin or blood tests, if you have a history of allergies. These tests check which allergens cause a reaction from your immune system.
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What Kinds Of Allergic Asthma Tests Are Typically Done To Reach A Diagnosis
When it comes to allergic asthma, you probably already have a hunch about what triggers your symptoms. For example, if you get wheezy every time you dog-sit, Spike is probably the culprit. Regardless of which trigger you suspect, its still important to see an allergist to figure out what specifically is causing your system to act up. Doctors can perform skin or blood tests to help you get to the bottom of what exactly is setting off your allergic asthma. Its also a good idea to keep a diary of anything that makes your asthma symptoms worse. This can be a huge help in figuring out your triggers.
History is the most important tool to diagnosing allergic asthma. A lot of it is talking to the patient and trying to understand what their symptoms have been, the environment, and their risk factors going all the way back to when they were in their moms uterus, believe it or not, through childhood and into adulthood, says Dr. Bose. A lot of those things are important for creating the foundation for diagnosis. But we also have different types of breathing tests that can be useful in diagnosing asthma.
Those tests can include:
- Aspirometrytest that diagnoses asthma severity and measures how well treatment is working
- A fractional exhaled nitric oxide test that measures how much inflammation you have in your lungs
- Peak expiratory flow tests that measure how fast you can blow out air using maximum effort.
Frequently Asked Questions About Allergies And Asthma
Most patients with asthma have multiple allergic sensitizations contributing to their allergen load.10,11 These allergen sensitizations can add to the patientâs trigger load, eventually resulting in asthma exacerbationsâeven from other, non-allergic, triggers.10,12 For those with asthma and aeroallergy , in addition to pharmaceutical strategies, reducing exposure to sensitized allergens can alleviate or reduce symptoms.13-17
The allergen symptom threshold is the point at which the cumulative allergen load leads to symptoms.18,19 Read more about the symptom threshold.
Up to 90 percent of patients are sensitized to more than one allergen.11â¯The effect is cumulative: A patient may have a number of triggers, which combined may lead to symptoms.7,12
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Common Triggers Of Allergy
Asthma is often triggered by environmental allergens. If you are allergic to a substance, or allergen, exposure to it triggers a response starting in the immune system. Through a complex reaction, these allergens then cause the passages in the airways of the lungs to become swollen and inflamed, which results in wheezing, coughing, and other asthma symptoms. Identifying, controlling, and avoiding your triggers is crucial for managing your allergic asthma.
Some of the most common triggers include:
Asthma And Pet Allergies
People talk about an allergy to dog hair or cat hair, but the real culprit is dander. These flakes of skin that come off your pet can cause an allergic reaction. The proteins in your animals urine, faeces, saliva or feathers can also do this.
There are a few things you can try to help:
- Keep your pet outside as much as possible, and out of your bedroom
- Ask someone else to bathe and groom your pet
- Cleaned your pets bed or cage regularly, as well as any soft furniture they spend time on.
If you think youre allergic to an animal, ask your doctor to order or refer you for an allergy test so you can be sure. If you are allergic, your doctor or nurse can incorporate management tips into your asthma plan.
Theres more detail on managing the symptoms, testing and reducing your exposure, in our information on pet allergies.
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