Asthma allergy or both? You must know
Allergic rhinitis and asthma are both very common conditions. While exact numbers are difficult to pin down, it is estimated that millions of adults and children in the United States have allergic rhinitis and millions have asthma.
While they are different conditions, there is difference. Many people with asthma also have allergic rhinitis, and the most common kind of asthma is allergic asthma, in which allergens act as promotors for asthma symptoms.
What is allergy?
An allergy is the immune system’s reaction to unwanted substance. Normally, the immune system reacts to eliminate of germs and heal infections. You sneeze to eliminate your nasal passages of germs. Your eyes water to keep out harmful substances. An ankle sprain swells as the area fills with fluid and white blood cells. All of these things are perfect immune responses.
In the case of an allergy, your immune system reacts to things that normally wouldn’t trigger any kind of immune response. People are allergic to all kinds of things, including foods, insect bites and stings, substances and medicines. Anything that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen.
Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal membranes caused by allergic reactions in it. Its symptoms are what we usually call “allergies,” and include nasal congestion, sneezing, and eye irritation, as well as sore or itchy throats, coughing, urticaria, and headaches. Common allergens for allergic rhinitis include pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and dust mites. You may also hear allergic rhinitis referred to as seasonal allergies, hay fever, or indoor and outdoor allergies.
Asthma is a chronic condition in which the lungs and airways — the tubes that carry air to and from the lungs — become inflamed. This inflammation causes the airways to spasm and causes an increase in the amount of mucus that clogs the airways. This makes it difficult to breathe normally.
Symptoms of Asthma:
Wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and feeling short of breath or shortness of breath are symptoms of asthma. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. An asthma attack (also called an exacerbation or flare-up) occurs when asthma symptoms become severe.
Asthma can be caused by a variety of things – physical exercise, cold air, tobacco smoke, and stress can trigger asthma symptoms. Many people have more than one asthma trigger.
How is asthma related to allergies?
The most common kind of asthma is allergic asthma. Nearly 60 percent of people with asthma have allergic asthma. With allergic asthma, allergens cause asthma symptoms. This includes skin and food allergens as well as allergens such as pollen, pet dander, mold and dust mites.
Although they are different, allergic rhinitis and asthma are both inflammatory disorders, and both involve similar immune responses in the body. It is common for people with asthma to suffer from allergic rhinitis, and allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for developing asthma.
If you have symptoms of allergy, asthma, or allergic asthma, or have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, it is important to work with your health care provider to get an accurate diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan to address your symptoms.
It’s also important to understand that such conditions can change over time and increase your risk of things like sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. See your healthcare provider any time you start experiencing new symptoms, symptoms get worse or symptoms don’t respond to treatment.