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.
Does An Asthma Attack Trigged By Allergies Feel Different Than A Typical Asthma Attack
When you have an asthma attack thats triggered by your allergies, it is a severe flair up of your asthma symptoms. During an asthma attack, your airways will tighten, making it difficult to breathe. You may also feel chest pressure, wheeze and cough. The symptoms of an allergic asthma attack are the same as an asthma attack caused by something else. The difference between the two is the cause of the asthma attack. When you experience severe asthma symptoms after breathing in an allergen, this is typically allergic asthma.
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.
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How Is Asthma Diagnosed
Doctors can use a number of tests to diagnose asthma. First, the doctor reviews your medical history, symptoms, and does a physical exam. Next, tests may be given to check the general condition of your lungs, including:
- Chest X-ray in which a picture of the lungs is taken.
- Pulmonary function test : A test that measures how well the lungs can take in air and how well this air can be exhaled . The patient blows into a tube placed between the lips.
- Peak expiratory flow: A test that measures the maximum speed that air can be exhaled from the lungs. The patient blows into a hand-held device called a peak flow meter.
- Methacholine challenge test: A test used to see if the airways are sensitive to methacholine, an irritant that tightens the airways.
- Other tests, such as allergy tests, blood tests, sinus X-rays and other imaging scans, and esophageal pH tests may also be ordered. These tests can help your doctor find out if other conditions are affecting your asthma symptoms.
Treatment Options For Asthma
Treatment options are tailored to each childs medical situation. During a consultation, your pediatrician will work with you to find the right medications for your child, whether that be daily inhaled corticosteroids, an emergency inhaler or something else. Depending on the source of their asthma, a visit to an allergist for allergy testing also may be recommended.
Even for a child with non-allergic asthma, your pediatrician may recommend more than medication. Irritants may need to be removed from your childs environment, such as cigarette smoke or air freshener. Professional carpet cleaning or the removal of carpet altogether may help, as well as frequently changing sheets and pillow cases, or even buying a new mattress. Hypoallergenic air filters or humidifiers also may be recommended to help purify indoor air.
Fortunately, the elimination of irritants and use of appropriate treatment prescribed by your childs doctor may prevent the worsening of symptoms, or nearly eliminate symptoms altogether. Diligence in care also might prevent a parents worst nightmare: having to take a trip to the emergency room when your child is struggling to breathe. Overall, whether theyre suffering from allergic or non-allergic asthma, no child should have to be held back by their condition.
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Symptoms Of Asthma And Allergies
The main symptom of asthma is a persistent cough, which often occurs at night. If the condition worsens, symptoms may include wheezing, tightness in the chest or even shortness of breath. In children with non-allergic asthma, exercise, colds and sinus infections also can aggravate these symptoms. A family history of asthma may predict your childs likelihood of developing this condition.
Caused by an overactive immune system, allergies can affect children of all ages, just like asthma. During allergic reactions to substances like pollen, a child often will develop nasal congestion, runny nose and/or itchy eyes. These allergy-provoking substancesreferred to as allergensoften include things such as dander, grass, pollen, mold or dust mites. Similar to asthma, a family history of allergies makes it more likely for your child to experience allergic reactions.
Is Allergic Asthma Dangerous
Allergic asthma, like any type of asthma, can be very dangerous and lead to an asthma attack. An asthma attack can happen when a trigger causes the lungs to become inflamed and swollen. Then the muscles around your breathing tubes tighten and spasm while more mucus than usual is produced. All these factors make the breathing tubes narrow and make it harder to get air into your lungs.
If you think you are experiencing an asthma attack, dial 9-1-1, use your quick-relief inhaler and seek urgent care.
Living with allergic asthma, you may feel frustrated or scared. This is normal. Asthma can be frightening but know that you can work with your doctor to develop a plan to treat both your asthma and your allergies. With treatment, you should be able to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Dont let your allergic asthma prevent you from living a happy, healthy life.
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Allergic Asthma Vs Non
You may be asking, What is the difference between allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma? After all, the symptoms are similar. It turns out the main difference is the cause of symptoms.
For people with allergic asthma, an outdoor or indoor allergen may trigger symptoms. For a person with non-allergic asthma, there may be other triggers. These triggers include smoke, pollutants, exercise, viruses, and many other things. Interestingly, a person with allergic asthma may experience intensified symptoms from these triggers.
People with allergic asthma will require treatment for their asthma symptoms, similar to non-allergic asthma, but they may also require treatment for their allergies.
It is believed that allergic asthma is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genetics often play an important role in the development of asthma. Having a family member with asthma or allergies increases the risk of asthma. So understanding your family medical history is important.
What are some other key differences between people with allergic asthma compared to people with non-allergic asthma? Researchers have learned that people with allergic asthma are usually younger and more likely to have positive skin allergen testing than people with non-allergic asthma. People with non-allergic asthma are more likely to be female and develop more severe disease than those with allergic asthma.
What Is Allergic Asthma
Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition where your lungs become inflamed, and your airways tighten when you inhale an allergen. Its also known as allergy-induced asthma.
In people with allergic asthma, exposure to allergens triggers the immune system to produce too much immunoglobulin E . This causes the airways to swell, leading to symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
People with allergic asthma usually start feeling symptoms after inhaling an allergen, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, or pet dander. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that an estimated 60 percent of people with asthma have allergic asthma.
However, not everyone with asthma has allergies. Allergic asthma should be diagnosed and treated by an allergist.
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Intravenous And Oral Corticosteroids
As the names suggest, these medications are administered orally or intravenously to offer quick relief for symptoms.
A number of quick relief medications can cause serious side effects if used long-term, in case a patient has any doubts or questions he or she should seek the input of a qualified physician.
Tips To Reduce Exposure To Outdoor Pollution And Weather
Avoiding outdoor pollution or weather conditions can be difficult, but tips for reducing your exposure include:
- Check media for daily outdoor air quality reports.
- Stay indoors with windows closed on high-pollution days use an air conditioner on recirculate to filter the air.
- Stay indoors with windows closed and vents blocked if hazard-reduction burns or bushfire smoke is in your area.
- Avoid physical activity on high-pollution days or if smoke is in the air.
- Avoid cold air in winter wear a scarf over your nose and mouth, and exercise indoors.
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How Do Allergies Affect Asthma
If you have asthma, it’s a good idea to find out if allergies may be causing problems for you. See your health care provider, who may suggest a visit to an allergist so you can find out if you’re allergic to anything.
If you have allergies, it doesn’t mean that they’re causing your asthma symptoms. But knowing what they are lets you and your doctor start looking into the connection.
Limiting your exposure to possible allergens may be a big help in controlling your asthma. If you can’t completely limit your exposure to something you’re allergic to, your doctor may recommend medicine or allergy shots.
Are Airborne Peanut Allergies Real
When food manufacturers are making peanut products, they may grind or pulverize them. This can send small pieces of the peanut into the air.
If someone with a peanut allergy inhales these small particles, it can lead to an allergic reaction.
However, a baby will not have an allergic reaction just by being close to a peanut.
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Developing An Asthma Action Plan
If you have asthma, its crucial to have a plan in place that helps you know what to do when you have a flare-up or experience symptoms. Your plan may include things like which medications to take, how to recognize when your symptoms worsen, and what to do in an emergency. If you dont already have an Asthma Action Plan in place, check out this plan from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America .
Asthma Can Be Controlled And Prevented
Periods between attacks can be prolonged by working with a physician to obtain ideal allergy and asthma control. This can be accomplished by identifying your allergens and other asthma triggers and developing methods of controlling them. This may also be accomplished by a daily regime of asthma control medicines and, if necessary, allergy medicines.
Do you have allergic asthma?
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Tightness In The Chest
Sometimes, allergy-induced asthma can make it feel like theres a tight band wrapped around your chest. This pressure is caused by swelling of the airways near or around the lungs, leading to tightness or tenderness.
While chest tightness is another symptom that does not always spell future health problems, this is a symptom that often precedes an oncoming asthma attack. Asthma attacks are potentially life-threatening asthmatic reactions, so its essential to monitor your other symptoms like heart rate and breathing ability if you feel some pressure in your chest.
Medications For Allergic Asthma
Try nasal allergy medications that donât make you sleepy, saline rinses, and nasal sprays . If these donât work, use nasal steroid sprays and stronger antihistamines. If none of this helps, it may be time to talk to a doctor about allergy shots.
There are many good asthma treatments, but most require a prescription. These medications include inhaled steroids, which fight inflammation, and bronchodilators, which open up your airways. If traditional treatments donât help your allergic asthma, Xolair, an injectable medication that reduces IgE levels, may help. Also, the long-acting anticholinergic medication called tiotropium bromide may be used in addition to your regular maintenance medications to help with symptom control. This medication can be used by anyone ages 6 years and older.
SOURCES:American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology: “What to expect at the doctor’s office,” “How to help your allergies and asthma,” “Allergic asthma information,” “Is your asthma allergic?” American Medical Association, Essential Guide to Asthma, 1998. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Asthma: How is Asthma Diagnosed?” “How is asthma treated?”Boehringer Ingelheim: “US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium RespimatÂ® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children.”FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.
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How To Prevent Asthma Attacks At Night
The causes of nocturnal asthma are not fully understood. Although its hypothesized that it is a result of increased allergen exposure, increased mucus, hormonal secretion, lying in a horizontal position, and/or GERD.
Follow these tips to prevent nighttime asthma.
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:
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Know Your Triggers To Help Manage And Control Symptoms
There is no set cure for asthma it can only be managed 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 outdoors during pollen season.
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 epinephrine. Some over-the-counter options may help those with mild allergy symptoms. These include:
- Nasal steroid sprays
- 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.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack
If your asthma symptoms are worsening you could be having an asthma attack, also known as an asthma flare. Any of these signs indicate the need for immediate medical treatment follow yourAsthma Action Plan.
- Symptoms dont respond as indicated in your Asthma Action Plan.
- It feels like you cant catch a good deep breath or cant get the air out of your chest.
- You cant talk except in short phrases.
- You have a cough that will not stop, or you simply feel too exhausted to breathe.
- Your shoulders tense and raise closer to your ears than normal.
- Its easier to breathe while sitting and leaning forward than when lying down.
- Your fingernails turn blue, or your lips become bluish or gray in color.
- You start sweating even though your skin feels clammy and cold.
- The skin around your chest, ribs and collarbones sinks in with each breath and youre using stomach muscles to help you breathe.
- You experience swelling of your throat, tongue or limbs.
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How To Prevent Allergic Asthma Attacks
Weve said it before, and we are about to say it again. One of the best ways to avoid an asthma attack is to avoid your triggers. For people with allergic asthma, that means avoiding the thing that make your allergies go haywire, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Depending on what incites your asthma, that can be easier said than done. For instance, if your trigger is dust mites, you cant spend your entire life ridding your home of every speck of dust. If your airways worst enemy is pollenone of the most common triggers of seasonal allergiesthe solution isnt to stay inside for months on end. In those kinds of cases, its about doing things like learning how to clean in a way that specifically targets dust and pollen-proofing your home so that as little makes it inside as possible.
The other MVP in your asthma toolbox is following your treatment plan by taking your long-term medications as prescribed and using your rescue medications when neededthat combo, in addition to understanding your triggers, can keep your lungs pretty happy.