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Why Does Pollen Cause Asthma

Treatments To Help Allergies And Asthma

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

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 .

How Else Can Pollen Cause Harm

Even outside of thunderstorms, pollen alone can cause asthma attacks requiring hospitalizations, respiratory symptoms such as wheezing and runny nose, and reduced lung function, making it harder to breathe.

Despite a low mortality rate, allergic asthma and hay fever can cause further burdens such as additional healthcare costs and poorer physical and mental health.

Our yet-to-be-published research has shown grass pollen may trigger a general state of heightened immune responses, leading to increased risk of eczema flares in children.

Other studies have indicated children with eczema experience more symptoms such as a higher intensity of itchiness and rash on days with high levels of grass pollen.

Hay Fever Pollution Hot Weather And Thunderstorms

Lots of people find their hay fever is worse when theres high pollution, especially as 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 get worse or flare up, because they smash pollen into tiny bits that go deeper into your lungs.

These three steps will reduce your risk of and asthma attack or your lung condition symptoms flaring up from pollen combined with heat, high pollution or thunderstorms:

  • Make sure you carry your reliever inhaler . If you have asthma and need to use it three or more times a week, book an urgent GP appointment.
  • Try to stay away from the trigger take extra care if youre out and about in the heat, or if the pollen count or the level of 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 that could be making your symptoms worse see our hay fever treatments page.

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What Do I Do If I Have Allergies And Asthma

If you have allergies and asthma, avoid the substance you are allergic to. Here are some tips to help you avoid some of the most common allergens and prevent asthma attack symptoms.

Dust mites

  • Encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs with allergen-proof, zippered covers.
  • Wash all bedding in hot water once a week.
  • Noncarpeted flooring is best. If you cannot get rid of your carpeting, vacuum often with an HEPA filter. Wear a mask while vacuuming. If your child has asthma, do not vacuum while they are in the room. Products that eliminate dust mites from carpeting can be purchased. Your asthma care provider can give you information about these products.
  • Avoid curtains and drapes. Use plain window shades instead of mini-blinds. Washable curtains should be washed in hot water every 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Dust all surfaces with a damp cloth often, including lampshades and windowsills.
  • Keep clutter under control. Toys and books should be stored in enclosed bookshelves, drawers or closets.
  • Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable stuffed animals.
  • Keep all clothing in drawers and closets. Keep drawers and closets closed.
  • Cover air ducts with filters. Change these when soiled.
  • Pillows and bedding should not contain feathers.
  • Keep indoor humidity low . Use a dehumidifier if needed.
  • Regularly change filters on heaters and air conditioners.

Mold and mildew

Insects

Pollen

Pet dander

What Are The Symptoms Of Allergic Asthma

5 Causes of Asthma

If you have allergic asthma, you may have many of the same symptoms you would experience with other types of asthma. These symptoms can include:

  • Coughing frequently, especially at night.
  • Experiencing chest tightness .

These symptoms can be very intense during an asthma attack. Make sure you have a treatment plan in place if you have severe asthma symptoms this plan often includes an inhaler .

You can also experience symptoms more closely related to allergies. These are usually less intense than asthma symptoms and can happen when youre exposed to an allergen. These symptoms can include:

Recommended Reading: How Does Asthma Get Worse

Herbal Medicines And Allergies

Asteraceae is a family of flowering plants, including many common species, and some are used in herbal medicines. Pollen from plants in this family is a common cause of hay fever, asthma and dermatitis.

Plants from the Asteraceae family include:

  • plants grown for their flowers chrysanthemums, dahlias, sunflowers, marigolds, safflower and daisies
  • edible foliage plants lettuce, safflower, chicory and artichoke
  • weeds ragweed, mugwort, sagebrush, wormwood, feverfew
  • plants used in some herbal medicines echinacea, dandelion, chamomile, feverfew, milk thistle and wormwood.

Echinacea can cause severe allergic reaction , asthma attacks, severe hives and swelling in some people, and this can occur when the first dose of echinacea is taken.

Pollen from plants in the Asteraceae family can also cause an allergic skin reaction on contact. The pollen can be found in herbal medicines, shampoos, cosmetics and massage oils, and includes pollen from plants such as the:

Sensitisation to pollen of plants from the Asteraceae family has also been linked with allergic reactions to other substances that are similar. This is known as cross-reactivity and has caused allergic reactions to:

  • plant-derived herbal medicines echinacea, royal jelly, bee pollen extracts and chamomile
  • foods celery, honey, sunflower seeds, carrot, lettuce, watermelon and nuts.

Don’t Fear Spring Allergies And Asthma

  • Health & Wellness
  • Lung Health and Diseases

It’s finally spring! The days are getting longer, flowers are starting to bloom, the weather is warming up and oh, unfortunately asthma and allergy triggers are making their seasonal appearance.

Pollen is perhaps the most obvious springtime asthma and allergy offender. As flowers, weeds, trees, grass and other plants begin to bloom, they release pollen into the air. If you’re allergic to pollen, you know what happens nextachoo! Sneezes, sniffles and a strong desire to draw the blinds and stay inside for a couple of months. Allergic reactions can cause symptoms in your nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin. Allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma, making it more difficult to breathe. And pollen isn’t the only spring allergy and asthma trigger. Air pollution and temperature changes can also make your symptoms worse.

But don’t fear. You don’t have to trade your spring kickball league for a Netflix account or wear a hazmat suit to venture outdoors. Follow these tips to ensure your spring is every bit as exciting as it is for Potoka the giraffe.

  • Lawn and garden maintenance. Before working in the yard, check your local pollen count and consider gardening in the early morning or evening when the pollen count is at its lowest. Fertilizers and freshly cut grass can worsen asthma symptoms. When working the yard, consider wearing a particle mask to keep from breathing in tiny particles.
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    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:

    The Different Types Of Pollen

    Asthma
    • 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. And 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.

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    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:

    • The need for inhaler frequently

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

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

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    Sinusitis And Other Upper Respiratory Infections

    Much like asthma causes inflammation in the lining of your airways, sinusitis causes inflammation in the mucus membranes that line your sinuses. This makes the membranes put out more mucus. If you have asthma and your sinuses get inflamed, your airways may too. Prompt treatment of a sinus infection can relieve asthma symptoms.

    Read Also: Can Anxiety Trigger An Asthma Attack

    How Does Pollen Affect Asthma

    Pollen is a common trigger of asthma and produces its effect by means of an allergy. Pollen is thus known as an allergen, which is an essentially harmless substance that sparks off an abnormal reaction in susceptible people. In the case of asthma, the lungs are affected, bringing on the typical asthma symptoms of wheeze, cough, chest tightness and difficulty in breathing.

    Your allergy to pollen can mean you may also get the symptoms of hay fever watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, runny or blocked nose, and itchy ears, mouth and throat which may also benefit from treatment.

    Other Tips For Lessening Nighttime Allergies And Getting Better Sleep

    6 Asthma Causes And Triggers: Can You Blame Allergy, Genetics, Food ...

    Here are some of our top tips for getting your night allergies under control and your sleep back on track:

    • If you think its indoor mold thats worsening your nighttime allergies, make sure you have adequate ventilation in every room of the house. This goes double for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, where humidity levels can change more often.
    • For indoor mold allergies, you also want to use dehumidifiers in the above rooms, as these keep too much moisture from forming.
    • Make sure your home doesnt have any pipes or roof seals with leaks. If you spot these, get them repaired.
    • For those with cockroach allergies, call an exterminator. They can tell you if there are any upstairs gaps where cockroaches can get into your bedroom. For instance, they may squeeze in through a window, a crack in the wall, or a small crevice.
    • After youre done spending time with your pet, change clothes and wash the ones you wore while spending time with your animal. Dont bring clothes into your bedroom unless theyre clean.
    • If you have a dust mite allergy, wash your sheets and other bedding at a high temperature, at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water will help remove any lingering mites.
    • Make sure you change and clean your bedding every week to keep dust mites away.
    • Get plastic or fabric covers for your pillows, box spring, and mattresses so dust mites cant get into your bed.

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    Causes Of Pollen Allergies

    For all allergies, the immune system reacts to specific allergy trigger molecules . Your immune system produces antibodies that detect the allergen and cause inflammatory reactions and the release of a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes hay fever symptoms, such as itchy and watery nose and eyes, and sneezing.

    In Victoria, inland areas tend to have higher pollen counts and northerly winds can bring pollens from inland regions to the coastal areas, including Melbourne. In contrast, the east coast of Australia often has less pollen, because winds tend to blow in from the sea and the Great Dividing Range protects the coast from inland winds. In South Australia and Western Australia, levels of pollen in the air vary, depending on wind direction.

    Prepare For Pollen Season

    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 or an allergy to something else.

    • If you regularly get hay fever and take antihistamines, 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.

    Read Also: How Long Does An Asthma Attack Last

    Unproven Methods To Test For Allergies

    A number of methods claim to test for allergies, but they have not been medically or scientifically proven. They can be costly and could lead to dangerous avoidance of certain foods. The organisation representing allergists recommends that you do not use certain methods to have potential allergies tested. These methods include:

    • cytotoxic food testing

    Always speak with your doctor if you are thinking of using a complementary medicine or therapy to test for allergies.

    Lisa And Veronicas Story

    What Are Pollen Allergies and How Can You Manage Them?

    It was the end of May, chilly for the Chicago area, and my 14-year-old daughter Veronica decided she wanted to go swimming at her best friends house. The thermometer of the pool read only 68 degrees, but Veronica and her friend were eager to wear their new swimsuits and have some fun.

    The girls polar plunge took only 10 seconds they immediately gave up on swimming and decided to lie out in the sun on the deck.

    As Veronica exited the pool, I noticed her legs were bright red and splotchy. She wiped her legs dry, but the splotches soon turned into itchy welts. I took her home, drew a warm bath, and gave her Benadryl. The welts went away soon after.

    I figured her reaction was some type of histamine response, so I called an allergist for an appointment. After testing, the allergist diagnosed Veronica with cold urticaria.

    Essentially, cold urticaria means cold hives. Its the bodys histamine response to a cold stimulus. We learned that cold air could trigger a reaction. Living in the Midwest where long, harsh winters are common, we knew wed need a well-thought-out plan for prevention. We invested in the warmest of outerwear and we carry epinephrine auto-injectors wherever we go in case she experiences a severe allergic reaction.

    Fortunately, Veronica has remained hive-free since that pool incident although we now vacation in only the warmest of places, where we are confident the water temperature will always be warm.

    Lisa Pavalon

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    Reduce Your Exposure To Asthma And Allergy Triggers

    Thanks to your symptom diary, you may realize your asthma worsens at night and in the morning. This means there could be a trigger in your bedroom, such as the wall-to-wall carpet, dust mites in your bedding, or pet dander in your pillow. Experiment with changes to your environment, such as replacing the flooring, covering your pillow and mattress with dust-mite-proof cases, and keeping pets out of the bedroom. Such efforts may allow you to reduce your exposure and minimize your symptoms naturally. Allergists are experts at helping to identify environmental triggers and how to eliminate or avoid them.

    With Proper Treatment A Child With Eia Does Not Need To Limit Overall Physical Activity

    Weather changes. Cold air, wind, rain, and sudden changes in the weather can sometimes trigger asthma. Each case of asthma is unique. It is important for parents to keep track of the factors or triggers that seem to provoke a childs asthma. Because symptoms do not always occur during or immediately after exposure, this effort may take a bit of detective work. Once you know those triggers, you can take steps to manage your childs exposure to them.

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    How To Manage Allergic Asthma

    An essential step to managing allergic asthma is identifying and avoiding triggers when possible. You may need to remove the source of the allergen from your home or other environment.

    You can also reduce allergic asthma symptoms by washing out your nasal passages regularly with saline solution using a Neti pot or squeeze bottle.

    Allergic asthma can have serious complications. One complication is anaphylaxis. This type of severe allergic reaction may have symptoms such as:

    • nasal congestion

    Untreated anaphylaxis can be life threatening. It may cause health concerns such as an abnormal heart rate, weakness, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, and pulmonary arrest.

    If youre at risk of a serious allergic reaction, your doctor may prescribe an epinephrine self-injecting device . Carrying this medication with you at all times and using it within the first few minutes of the onset of allergy symptoms can prevent a life threatening allergic reaction.

    Allergic asthma attacks arent always preventable. However, you may be able to make them less frequent by changing your environment.

    The steps you take will depend on the allergen causing your symptoms. They may include:

    • washing bedding frequently in hot 130°F water
    • mopping instead of sweeping

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