Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Asthma and Allergies

Posted Jun 14 2009 12:00am

Allergies and asthma are separate conditions, but they are related. People who have allergies particularly those that affect the nose and eyes are more likely to have asthma. Not everyone who has allergies has asthma, and not all cases of asthma are related to allergies.

Allergic asthma is a type of asthma that is triggered by an allergy. Many people with asthma have allergies that make their asthma worse. If you have asthma, it’s important to know what you’re allergic to, try to get rid of or stay away from the things you’re allergic to, then take allergy medicines and know what to do if your asthma is getting worse.

Allergy basics

An allergy is an abnormal reaction by your body to things that you body is sensitized to. The thing that gives you allergies is called an allergen.

With any kind of allergy, the immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances such as pollen or dust mites. As part of this overreaction, the body produces an antibody of the immunoglobulin E (IgE) type, which specifically recognizes and attaches to the allergen when the body is exposed to it.

When that happens, it sets a process in motion those results in the release of certain substances in the body. One of them is histamine, which causes allergic symptoms that can affect the eyes, nose, throat, skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs. When the airways in the lungs are affected, symptoms of asthma can occur.

Allergy symptoms

Allergies can cause many different symptoms. You may have one or many of these symptoms:

Understanding Asthma

Asthma, a hypersensitivity of the bronchial tubes that carry air throughout the lungs, is a major public health problem.

For many people with asthma, their asthma symptoms are triggered by an allergy to airborne substances such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander. In some people, skin or food allergies can cause asthma symptoms.

Asthma is a long-term condition in which over-sensitive airways become narrow and inflamed, making it difficult to breathe in and out normally. Its cause isn’t completely understood, but asthma is one of a group of allergic conditions, including eczema and hay fever, which often occur together.

The airways in a person with asthma are very sensitive and react to a variety of external factors, or “triggers.” These triggers cause the airways to tighten and become inflamed and blocked with mucus, resulting in difficulty breathing. An acute asthma attack can begin immediately after exposure to a trigger or several hours or days later.

There are many kinds of triggers, and responses to them vary from person to person. A trigger may be harmless to some asthmatics but contribute to an inflammatory response in others, and an individual’s reaction to any trigger may vary from one exposure to the next. Some people are affected by numerous triggers; others may not be able to identify any. Recognizing and avoiding triggers, when possible, is an important way to control asthma.

Common asthma triggers include:

How does an allergic reaction cause asthma symptoms?

Anybody can get allergies, even people who do not have asthma. But people with asthma and allergies will have a reaction in their airways in addition to the usual allergy symptoms (itchy, watery eyes etc.)

An allergic response affects the lining of the nose and the lining of the airways in a similar way. Symptoms occur when antibodies in your blood are exposed to an allergy-causing substance (allergen). These antibodies can trigger allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion, scratchy eyes or a skin reaction and for many, inflammation of the airways associated with asthma.

If you have both allergies and asthma, the same substances that trigger your allergy symptoms can also inflame your airways, leading to asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness.

Treatment for allergies

Control your asthma and allergies instead of them controlling you

The best way to treat allergies is to prevent them – stay away from the things that you are allergic to. No treatment will work as well as simply avoiding the allergen in the first place.

If you can’t avoid an allergen, you’ll need treatment:

Common allergens and how to avoid them


What you can do

Pets – animal secretions

Dust mites – dust mites are tiny bugs that feed on skin particles that humans shed.
Dust mites like to gather in warm, moist places with lots of human skin: mattresses, pillows, carpet, and bedding.

People with dust allergies are allergic to the droppings (feces) of dust mites. To get rid of the allergy-causing droppings, you must wash out the existing droppings and kill the mites so they don’t make more droppings.

Pollen – grasses, weeds, flowers, trees

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches