Do you ever experience itchy, watery eyes, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and scratchy throat alongside wheezing and shortness of breath? If so, you may be experiencing a condition known as allergy-induced asthma. We review more about this condition below.
What Are the Symptoms of Allergies & Asthma?
It’s possible for you to experience respiratory symptoms, like coughing and airway congestion, as a result of either allergies or asthma, but many symptoms do not overlap. Knowing the symptoms of allergies and asthma can help you tell which you’re experiencing, or if you’re experiencing both.
Allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy, red, watery eyes.
- Runny/stuffy nose.
- Itchy/scratchy throat.
- Postnasal drip.
- Rash and hives.
Asthma symptoms include:
- Tightness in the chest.
- Loss of breath.
- Inability to catch breath.
- Coughing, especially at night or in the morning.
Both allergies and asthma are common. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) estimates that approximately 50 million Americans experience allergies and 25 million have asthma. About 60% of asthma cases are thought to be allergy-induced.
Allergy-induced asthma means that an allergen – a substance that causes an allergic reaction – also triggers an asthma attack.
Your immune system’s job is to protect your body from diseases, infections and illnesses. But for those with allergies, when the immune system detects a particular substance, like pollen, it overreacts. During this reaction, the immune system produces antibodies known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE), prompting the production of histamine. Histamine causes swelling and mucus production, resulting in your allergy and asthma symptoms.
How to Manage Allergies & Asthma
While allergies and asthma can be treated individually, in the case of allergy-induced asthma they are often treated together. Treatment options include:
- Montelukast (Singulair) is primarily prescribed for asthma, but also helps provide relief for allergy symptoms by controlling the body’s immune response.
- Allergy shots work similar to a vaccine. Small amounts of an allergen are introduced into the body in order for the immune system to build up a tolerance to it.
- Anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) immunotherapy targets the chemical signals that produce an allergic reaction. This treatment is generally only recommended for those with mild to severe asthma that is persistent and doesn’t respond to other treatments.
For more information about treatment options for allergy-induced asthma so you can enjoy walks around Los Angeles State Historic Park without symptoms, call the experts at The House Institute today.