Allergic Asthma
Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Questions & Related Topics


Possible Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

1. Coughing

Asthma symptoms can be caused by a host of different issues, but for many people, an allergic reaction to certain substances, called allergens, can cause asthma symptoms. The issue occurs when the individual breathes in the allergens, causing an asthma attack.[1] Symptoms are quite similar to other types of asthma attacks, and one of the most common of these is coughing, either with or without phlegm.

2. Wheezing

Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma, affecting 65 percent of those who have the condition.[2] A person experiencing an asthma attack brought on by allergens will also start to wheeze or breathe audibly. Wheezing makes a high-pitched noise that can sound a bit like whistling. It is common in all types of asthma.

3. Breathing problems

Someone who has allergic asthma will experience breathing issues when coming into contact with their allergens. These can include shortness of breath and quick breathing, both of which can cause the other to occur more intensely. These issues occur because the airways will get inflamed and become filled with mucous after coming into contact with the allergens, making it harder to breathe.[3]

4. Chest tightness

The issue of breathing quickly and not getting enough oxygen can lead to chest tightness and pain. Often, asthma can be frightening, especially for children. This can lead to anxiety, which can cause all of these symptoms to intensify as the result of an attack.

Top 5 Causes of Allergic Asthma

1. Pollen

Pollen is one of the most common types of allergic asthma allergens. It is often in the air during the spring, summer, and fall, thanks to the many weeds, trees, grasses, and other plants that create it and the wind and other types of weather that cause it to become airborne.

2. Animals and bugs

Animal dander is another strong allergen for people with allergic asthma. If the feathers, hair, or skin particles of an animal you are allergic to are in the air, it can bring on the symptoms of an asthma attack. Certain bugs, like dust mites or cockroaches, can also produce feces that can cause an allergic asthma attack in some people.

3. Mold

Homes, schools, or other buildings with mold fragments or spores can cause problems for those who are allergic to them. Mold easily gets into the air, and when it is breathed in by someone with allergic asthma, it can cause an attack.

4. Irritants in the air

Certain irritants in the air can trigger an asthma attack, even if you are not actually allergic to them.[3] These can include smoke, pollution, chemical fumes, dust, perfume, or air fresheners. If someone has severe allergic asthma, anything in that air that is too strong for their airways can create an asthma attack. Sometimes, even air that is too frigid can cause an asthma attack.

2 Ways to Prevent Allergic Asthma

1. Know your triggers

In most cases, it can help immensely to know your triggers and to avoid them whenever you can.[4] For example, if your allergen is pollen, avoid going outside when pollen counts are very high. Avoid dust and dust mites if you often experience asthma symptoms when going into a dusty room. If you have a pet, find out if you might be allergic to them, or if not, find out if certain types of animal dander are triggers for you. Prevent mold from growing in your home by keeping it dry and clean.[3]

2. Know your symptoms

Unfortunately, your asthma and allergy symptoms can change over time. However, it’s good to be able to recognize an asthma attack before or as soon as it begins. If you start to feel that you are on the verge of an attack, let someone know and leave the room you are in, as it’s likely there is something in there triggering an attack.

Possible Allergic Asthma Treatment Options

1. Inhalers

Certain medicines can be used when an attack occurs, like short-acting inhalers.[5] These medicines are used for quick relief of your symptoms. Often, these are referred to as rescue inhalers, as they are meant for when a person is experiencing severe symptoms and needs immediate help. Long-acting inhalers can keep the airways open for longer. They are not considered rescue inhalers, but they can still be helpful to those who have symptoms often.

2. Leukotriene modifiers

Leukotriene modifiers are pills that you take every day that minimize the swelling of the airway when asthma symptoms occur. This drug actually helps relax the airway and minimize inflammation, which makes it easier to breathe. However, you have to take leukotriene modifiers every day for them to work, even if you are not experiencing asthma symptoms. In some cases, these drugs can cause serious side effects, like suicidal thoughts.[6]

3. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy or allergy shots can treat allergic asthma by minimizing your body’s response to the allergen over time. You will receive injections with small amounts of the allergen, and gradually, your immune system will be better able to tolerate the allergens.

4. Inhaled and oral corticosteroids

Inhaled corticosteroids minimize inflammation and help to prevent the symptoms of asthma before they occur. You may also be able to take oral corticosteroids as a medication that provides quick relief from an asthma attack. Oral corticosteroids are usually best for asthma attacks that have not subsided, even with other types of treatment.[1]

Questions Your Doctor May Ask about Allergic Asthma

  • How long have you been experiencing the symptoms of allergic asthma?
  • Do you know what your allergens are?
  • Have you ever had a situation where you needed immediate relief?
  • Have you ever had a severe attack?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Have you had a skin or blood test in order to determine your allergens?

Allergic Asthma May Also be Known as:

  • Asthma

References

  1. National Library of Medicine. Asthma. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000141.htm.
  2. WebMD. An Overview of Allergic Asthma. https://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/allergic-asthma - 1.
  3. Mayo Clinic. Allergies and Asthma. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/in-depth/allergies-and-asthma/art-20047458.
  4. Medical News Today. Is it allergic asthma or something else? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324476.php.
  5. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergens and Allergic Asthma. https://www.aafa.org/allergic-asthma/.
  6. Mayo Clinic. Allergies and Asthma. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/in-depth/allergies-and-asthma/art-20047458.

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