man sitting on couch using an inhaler

Asthma and Allergies: What's the Connection?

Allergies and Asthma Often Coexist

Textbook asthma is characterized by lung bronchial spasms that can cause difficulty in breathing. Allergies are one common trigger of these attacks — in fact, many people with allergies also have asthma. In some cases, allergies may even be the primary cause of asthma!

Allergy-induced asthma is a common condition as simple as the name infers: it is asthma triggered by an allergic reaction. Allergy-induced asthma (also referred to as "allergic asthma") can be challenging to control because it is often chronic and unpredictable.

Allergy-Induced Asthma Symptoms

Allergic asthma may present many of the same symptoms as other types of asthma. These symptoms can include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

You may also experience symptoms that are more directly connected to allergies. These can occur when exposed to an allergen and are typically less severe than asthma symptoms. These signs may manifest as:

  • A blocked nose
  • Runny or itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Hives and a rash

It is important to note that the symptoms above can simultaneously occur when experiencing an allergy-induced asthma attack.

When Are Allergy-Induced Asthma Symptoms Most Likely to Occur?

Allergy-induced asthma symptoms can occur anytime you're exposed to an allergy trigger. For example, if you have hay fever during certain seasons, your symptoms may worsen during spring and summer when pollen levels are high. If you have a dust mite allergy, your symptoms may worsen when cleaning or vacuuming.

It's also important to remember that allergies can change over time. For example, you may develop new allergies as you get older. You may also find that your existing allergies have become more severe, so keeping track of your symptoms and triggers is essential. That way, you can adjust your treatment plan as needed.

How is Allergy-Induced Asthma Diagnosed?

The allergy specialists at Allergy Institute PC will ask about your medical history and symptoms to diagnose allergic asthma.

If you experience both asthma and allergies, we will identify any triggers through allergy testing in order for you to properly manage asthma symptoms and decrease the frequency of asthma attacks. We may recommend getting a skin or blood test for this diagnosis. Additionally, we will assess lung function after identifying probable triggers.

Once you've been diagnosed with allergic asthma, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan!

Treatment Options for Allergy-Induced Asthma

Medication therapy for allergy-induced asthma typically involves the use of inhaled corticosteroids. This medication reduces inflammation of the airways and helps prevent asthma attacks. In some cases, other medicines, such as leukotriene modifiers or long-acting beta-agonists, may also be used.

Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, is another excellent option for treating allergy-induced asthma! This treatment involves injecting small amounts of the trigger substance (such as pollen or dust mites) into the body. Immunization to allergy trigger substances can help reduce or eliminate asthma symptoms.

Relieving Your Allergy and Asthma Symptoms at Allergy Institute PC

If you believe you may have allergic asthma, it's essential to work with us to develop a treatment plan that's right for you. Our goal is to assist you in managing your symptoms so you can maintain a healthy, active lifestyle!

At Allergy Institute PC, we offer a variety of treatments for allergies and asthma. Contact us online or call (515) 619-5179 to get in touch with our team regarding your allergy or asthma diagnosis and treatment today.

We will work with you to provide services that will bring you long-lasting relief. Throughout the process, we will inform and guide you through your conditions and all available treatment options. Let's make your life better one breath at a time!