Allergies and Asthma Often Occur Together
Apr 20, 2012, 9:58 a.m.
You may wonder what allergies and asthma have in common besides making you miserable. A lot, as it turns out. Allergies and asthma often occur together.
The same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms may also cause asthma signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. This is called allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma. Substances such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander are common triggers. In some people, skin or food allergies can cause asthma symptoms.
How does an allergic reaction cause asthma symptoms?
An allergic response occurs when immune system chemicals (antibodies) mistakenly identify a harmless substance such as tree pollen as a dangerous invader. In an attempt to protect your body from the substance, antibodies attack the allergen. The chemicals released by your immune system lead to allergy signs and symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes or skin reactions. For some people, this same reaction also affects the lungs and airways, leading to asthma symptoms.
Is all asthma caused by allergies?
Though allergic asthma is the one of the most common kinds of asthma, there are other types with different kinds of triggers such as exercise, infections, cold air or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The best thing you can do is to take charge and get your symptoms under control. You can do this by knowing what triggers your allergy and asthma symptoms and learn how to limit your exposure to them. Work with your health care provider to find the best treatment to manage your symptoms, and do check in with your doctor on a regular basis.
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