Read More >>
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million people struggle with some form of allergies every year. Also, allergies rank as the 6th leading cause of chronic illnesses in America, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Statistical data also show that asthma, which is characterized by episodic wheezing, breathlessness, and chest tightness, affects1 in 13 Americans. That said, there are a variety of indoor and outdoor triggers that can contribute to asthmatic symptoms, which prove that there is a correlation between asthma and common allergens. In this article, we will take a closer look at allergy-induced asthma as well as the treatments available for those who struggle with it.
What is Allergy-Induced Asthma?
As the name may suggest, allergy-induced as asthma, is an asthmatic response predicated by exposure to allergens. In most cases, allergens either worsen asthma problems or acts as a catalyst that causes the breathing problem. Studies show that this type of asthma is the most common amongst those diagnosed with this chronic disease of the airways. To further put this into context, allergy-induced asthma affects more than 60 percent of Americans who have asthma.
What do Allergens cause Asthma?
Before detailing the link between allergens and asthma, it should be noted that in many cases genetics can play a significant role when it comes to who will develop allergies. For example, if your parents have allergies, you will be predisposed to them too, and you will be susceptible to the same triggers that can cause allergy-induced asthma including
When individuals with allergies are exposed to allergens, the body responds by producing histamine, which triggers multiple uncomfortable symptoms like itchy, coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes, for example. This response to histamine inevitably leads to asthma flare-ups, which can make it very difficult to breathe while triggering other asthma-related symptoms.
What Treatments are available for Asthma and Allergies?
As far as asthma and allergy treatments are concerned, prescription and over-the-counter medications can provide considerable relief from both symptoms. However, the rate of efficacy can vary not only from person to person but also from medication to medication. As such, it is a good idea to work with your general physician, pulmonologist, or allergist who can outline a course treatment that is right for you. Some of the more common medications prescribed to those with allergy-induced asthma include
Anti-immunoglobulin E – Medications in this class like Xolair, for example, are characterized as immunotherapy drugs, meaning they target the chemical signals that contribute to allergic reactions in most people. Prescriptions like Xolair and other anti-immunoglobulin E medications are best suited for those who have chronic asthma or haven't responded to other respiratory treatments.
Montelukast – Commonly prescribed as Singulair, montelukast is one of the most popular medications used to resolve allergy and asthma symptoms and works by controlling the body's response to allergens.
In some cases, allergy shots may also be used to help resolve allergy and asthma symptoms. These shots work by introducing trace small amounts of a specific allergen into the body, which, in turn, increases allergy tolerance. However, this form of immunotherapy requires multiple injections over the course of several years to achieve optimal results. As such, it may not be ideal for all allergy and asthma sufferers. Nonetheless, there are a variety of treatments available for those seeking relief from allergy and asthma including using air purifiers to help minimize allergens in one's home.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of an independent contributor. This content has not been paid for by any advertiser nor does Asthma.Life recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Asthma.Life does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and information contained on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Please seek the advice of your physician or other professional healthcare provider with any questions you may have.