The Facts About Allergy Induced Asthma
Asthma is a respiratory condition that causes constriction within the bronchi of the lungs and the bronchial tubes. If you are suffering from asthma, then you have difficulty breathing when you are exposed to allergens or other hypersensitivities. Allergy Induced Asthma or Allergic Asthma is triggered by hay fever-like symptoms caused by irritants. These irritants can be anything from dust mites to pollen or even pet dander. Because allergies and asthma often occur together, it can make you quite miserable. Most people think of air born irritants as the culprit, but skin and food allergies can also cause your allergy-induced asthma.
According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), around 60 percent of people suffering from asthma have allergic asthma, which is over 25 million people worldwide. There are other types of asthma that have different triggers. For many, asthma can be triggered by physical activities, sickness, cold air, stress, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). It is not uncommon for you to have more than one type of asthma trigger either.
What Is Allergy Induced Asthma?
Healthline.com describes allergic asthma as the body mistaking a harmless substance, like pollen from a tree, as an invader. Thus, your body will try to protect you from this invader. It sends powerful antibodies to bind to the substance, and it causes an allergic response to occur. The immune system releases an excess production of histamines to combat the symptoms associated with allergies. When these chemicals are activated within the body, you will experience a runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, nasal congestion, facial swelling, and skin reactions. These are the side effects of the chemicals that are trying to kill off the invader. This little chemical makes you quite miserable.
Some people experience the same type of reactions in their lungs and airways, resulting in symptoms of asthma. If you have a family history of allergies, then you have a higher risk of developing the condition. If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, then you are at risk for developing asthma too.
What Are The Common Signs and Symptoms of Asthma?
When you are experiencing asthma from allergies, there are many different symptoms that can occur. According to Verywell.com, the most common are as follows:
- Shortness Of Breath
If you are experiencing shortness of breath, you may feel like you are suffocating. You will feel as if you cannot get enough air into your lungs. You may feel panicked and that you are suffocating from oxygen deprivation. The reduction in airflow is caused by the inflammation of your airways
Your body’s automatic response to these allergens is to cough and remove the toxins. Coughing episodes are usually worse during the early morning hours or at bedtime. You may notice that you have trouble sleeping because of your coughing spells.
Wheezing is a sound made as the body attempts to take in air through the restricted bronchial tubes. It produces a squeaky or whistle like noise that is very troublesome.
- Chest Tightness
When you are having an attack, you can feel the tightening of the bronchi within the lungs. This can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest. It can feel like someone is sitting on the chest area, and it can make breathing very difficult. You may feel that you are having a heart attack and can even confuse the two conditions.
What Are The Common Asthma Triggers?
Asthma extrinsic is when you suffer from asthma due to allergies. This essentially means that the asthma is caused by external allergens. Unlike seasonal allergies, these can be triggered by various things. Triggers include:
- Exercise or Any Physical Activity
Engaging in strenuous physical activities or exercise can be difficult when you have asthma. During a workout, you may become easily winded, and this can trigger an asthma attack.
- Common Allergens
Irritants such as mold, dust mites, pet dander and others are some of the most known common allergens that may cause asthma. Each person will have things that trigger their asthma. It can be anything from grass to perfume and even flowers. The key is to find out what causes your body to react, and you should try to avoid those items.
- Lung Irritants
Airborne irritants can cause problems with breathing for people with underlying asthma issues. These irritants can be chemicals, smoke, pollution, scents in nature, and even smells while cooking certain foods. Do you know what your triggers are?
How is Allergy Induced Asthma Diagnosed?
Depending on the age of the patient, each doctor will diagnose asthma differently. For instance, children under the age of five do not have the ability to do breathing capacity tests. So, a doctor will consider the family history to determine if the child has genetic links to asthma. If the physician suspects asthma, then they will give a bronchodilator for experimentation. If the symptoms improve by using this device, then it will confirm the diagnosis.
For older children and adults, there are a series of breathing capacity tests that are utilized. Using a peak flow meter and a Spirometer, the doctor can determine the extent of the asthma issues.
Allergy testing is not typically done to diagnose asthma. However, if a doctor has reason to believe that an allergen is causing the problem, they may use allergic dermatitis tests. These tests can rule out possible allergens and help identify the trigger. If there is a specific food or toxin that is causing the problems, avoiding this item can help.
What are the treatments for Allergy Induced Asthma?
There are many interventions that can help to reduce exposure to allergens, according to Web MD. This seems to be an effective treatment for allergy induced asthma. One of the most common methods utilized is corticosteroid inhalers. These help to control your symptoms.
Inhalers and nebulizers can also help to keep the home allergen free. Pest control may also help. Make sure to change mattress covers, pillow cases, and any air filters within the home frequently. This will reduce the allergens floating around in the air. Reducing the exposure can lessen the acute states of allergy related asthma, and it can make life easier when you can breathe clearly.
Inhalers are by far the most commonly used method of treating asthma due to allergies. The device consists of a mouthpiece and a canister. The canister contains medication used to treat asthma. The mouthpiece delivers the medication through inhalation.
Though they are a basic component and frequently used treatment of asthma, steroids have the highest instance of side effects. When using a medication of this kind, it is important to use good judgment and take the proper precautions. They should only be taken if recommended by a doctor.
- Leukotriene modifier
A Leukotriene modifier can help to ease both the conditions of allergies and asthma. It is taken to help control the chemicals released by the immune system during a reaction.
Immunotherapy or allergy shots help to treat asthma by correcting the overactive immune system responses. Verywell.com states that it is like a vaccination. By injecting tiny amounts of the allergens in your body, the body stops overreacting to their presence. It takes a series of shots and some time to gradually reduce the responses. However, in time, the allergic reactions will lessen and the asthma symptoms will also decrease. It takes regular injections over a three to five-year period to see results. This is typically used in conjunction with another type of therapy as it is not fast acting.
- Anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) Therapy
When there is an allergy in the body, the body rushes chemicals to combat them. According to Sciencedirect.com, IgE is the receptor that detects the irritant, and it signals the body to send out histamine into the blood. By taking a medication that interrupts the IgE receptor signal, and the body can prevent allergic reactions.
- Herbal Treatments
Plant supplements or herbs that are available in many different formats can be used as effective treatments for asthma. You may prefer to use holistic or an alternative medication to treat your asthma. It is important to check with a doctor before adding anything like this to a treatment regimen. Herbs do have the potential to interfere with prescription medications.
Each person may experience different symptoms when they are having an attack. The triggers and treatments used will not be the same for each person. If you continue to have flare-ups, then you should find out what is causing the increased activity. Through a family history report, allergen testing, and a physical examination, a doctor can help to pinpoint the cause and find an acceptable treatment.
An Increase In Allergy Induced Asthma
Allergy related asthma is increasing globally, and scientists aren’t quite sure why this surge is occurring. It is important to know what triggers allergy induced asthma and reduce exposure. Concentrations are higher in third-world countries where apartments with pest droppings and other irritants are commonplace. However, for those suffering in the United States, there are numerous reasons.
Working with a physician can help to manage your condition. Finding the right treatment may include some experimentation, but there are many medications to help keep the dreadful symptoms of allergy related asthma at bay.