Allergies and Asthma – An Overview

Allergic asthma is commonly caused by inhaling fumes, smoke, dust, pollen, molds, and dust mites. Approximately 50 percent of adults and 90 percent of children have allergies and asthma. Other things affect asthma, such as exercise and cold air. If you have asthma, you should use your inhaler before exercise, and then listen to your body. If you begin to feel your chest tightening, or you can hear yourself wheeze, you need to stop exercising. If you live in a cold climate, you should wear a scarf around your mouth and nose to help warm the air before it hits your lungs. If you are outside, you should not breathe through your mouth, because this will likely bring on an asthma attack. It is not uncommon to start coughing as soon as cold air hits your bronchial tubes and lungs. The bronchioles often go into bronchospasms when cold air hits them.

Allergic asthma

No one really knows what causes asthma, but for much of the population, allergies play a big role. The immune system protects the body by attacking bacteria and viruses to keep the body healthy. The Immunoglobulin E (Ig E) part of the immune system overreacts and mistakes harmless substances, like pollen, dog dander, and cat dander as harmful invaders. The immune system can’t tell cat dander apart from disease causing bacteria and viruses. The Ig E part of the immune system triggers other parts of the immune system to release histamine. Histamine tries to get rid of the invaders, and block new ones from coming into the body by causing an allergic response; this is why you get the runny nose or stuffy nose, watery eyes, coughing, wheezing and chest tightening. The wheezing and chest tightening is caused by bronchospasms. A mask won’t help you prevent allergy and asthma symptoms, because the particles can be inhaled right through the mask.

Everyone who has allergies does not have asthma, but those who do have allergy asthma have hypersensitive airways, because their bodies are sensitive to the allergen being inhaled. The symptoms for allergy asthma and non-allergic asthma are essentially the same. The symptoms of both forms of asthma are coughing, wheezing, tight feeling in the chest, rapid respirations, and feeling short of breath.

allergic asthma response

If you have allergic asthma, you could have an allergy to pollen blown by the wind from weeds, grasses and trees. You could be sensitive to mold spores in the air. You could also have an allergy to animal dander and their saliva. If you have birds, you could be allergic to their feathers. Other causes of asthma could be the excrement from cockroaches and dust mites. The feces from roaches and mites can float in the air and be inhaled into the bronchial tubes, where they cause an immediate allergic asthma response.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that only pollen, pet dander and dust mites are the only causes of allergy asthma. Air pollution is often a cause of allergic asthma in the urban areas. Tobacco smoke is another common culprit. You don’t have to be near a person smoking to get asthma symptoms. A person could smoke outside and come back in; an invisible cloud of smoke stays on their clothes and on their person. You can’t see it, but you can smell it and feel it in your chest. Perfumes and air fresheners are another cause of asthma and allergy symptoms.

asthma and allergy symptoms

You can be tested and treated for your allergies. Your doctor can send you to an immunologist to take desensitizing treatments. You take shots over a period of time, and after a few months you notice that you don’t react as violently to the allergens. Some people are cured of their allergies and asthma by taking immunotherapy treatments. Your doctor will diagnose and treat you for your symptoms. There is no need for you to suffer in silence; consult with your doctor about your allergy and asthma symptoms as soon as possible.