Allergy-Induced Asthma

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Allergies and asthma are two of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. The same allergens that give some people sneezing fits, itchy and watery eyes can trigger an asthma attack in others. Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma. Almost 90% of children with asthma have allergies, compared with about 50% of adults with asthma.

What is an Allergy?
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to a substance – it can be anything from animal dander to pollen or even certain foods.  The overreaction of your immune system will cause swelling and inflammation, which in turn causes the sore throat, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose.

What is Asthma?
Asthma is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes.  Common symptoms of asthma are coughing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and wheezing.

What is Allergy-induced Asthma?
Someone who has allergy-induced asthma or allergic asthma are incredibly sensitive to certain allergens.  Once someone with allergic asthma is exposed to the allergen, the muscles around the airways tighten.  As the airways continue to tighten, airways are overwhelmed with thick mucus.  This is commonly referred to as an asthma attack.

Allergens aren’t the only thing that can worsen allergic asthma.  Irritants, such as cold air and smoke, may trigger an asthma attack, even though they don’t cause an allergic reaction.  To determine the causes of allergic asthma, one will need to consult a doctor to administer an allergy test.

How to Avoid Allergens:

•  Stay indoors when pollen counts are high

•  Research if an air filter may help you

•  Wear a mask if gardening, cutting grass or doing other various activities in the yard

•  Get tested for pet allergies

•  Control indoor humidity to slow the growth of mold and dust mites

•  Use allergen covers to avoid dust mites