Every year, asthma affects about 26 million people in the US and kills between 400-600. In this article, we offer insight into how allergic asthma develops, and discuss the symptoms, causes, treatments and how you can manage it to make your life easier.
What are the Symptoms of Allergic Asthma?
When someone has allergic asthma, their airways become inflamed and constricted in response to an allergen. This can cause a number of symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- A coughing attack that may be worse at night
- Difficulty sleeping due to coughing or wheezing
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see our doctors so they can determine whether you have allergic asthma and develop a treatment plan.
Why Does Your Airway Become Irritated?
When you have allergic asthma, your airway becomes irritated and inflamed when you breathe in an allergen. This can cause symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Allergic asthma is a type of asthma that is triggered by an allergy. Allergies are caused by your immune system overreacting to a foreign substance, such as dust or pollen. When you breathe in the allergen, your immune system releases chemicals that cause inflammation in your airways. This can make it hard to breathe and lead to other symptoms.
Learn more about how to protect yourself from allergic asthma by learning how EVA works.
How to Diagnose Allergic Asthma
If you have allergic asthma, your symptoms are triggered by something you’re allergic to – such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander or mold.
Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma. It usually starts in childhood, but can develop at any age. If you have allergies and start to experience asthma symptoms, see your doctor for a diagnosis.
There is no single test that can diagnose allergic asthma. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms, and may carry out some tests, including:
- Skin prick testing: a small amount of allergen is placed on the skin and the skin is then pricked; if you’re allergic to the allergen, you’ll develop a raised bump (wheal) within 15 minutes
- Blood tests: these can measure the levels of antibodies in your blood that are produced in response to an allergen; however, they aren’t always accurate and aren’t usually used to diagnose asthma
- Lung function tests: these can be used to measure how well your lungs are functioning; if you have asthma, your lungs will likely show reduced airflow
Once your doctor has determined that you might have allergic asthma, they might prescribe a bronchodilator or inhaler for you to use, to treat your condition.
Treating Allergic Asthma
If you have allergic asthma, your airways are extra sensitive to things that you’re allergic to. When you come in contact with an allergen, your airways can swell and make it hard to breathe. This can trigger asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
There is no cure for allergic asthma, but there are treatments that can help control your symptoms and prevent them from getting worse. The best way to treat allergic asthma is to avoid the things that trigger your allergies. But sometimes that’s not possible or enough.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to help control your symptoms. There are two types of medication for treating allergic asthma: quick-relief medicines and long-term control medicines. Quick-relief medicines are used to relieve symptoms when they occur. Long-term control medicines are taken daily to prevent symptoms from occurring in the first place.
In some cases, allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be recommended. Allergy shots expose you to tiny amounts of the things you’re allergic to so that your body can build up immunity to them.
If you have allergic asthma, it’s important to work with your doctor to create a treatment plan that works for you. With the right treatment, you can live a normal, active life despite your allergies.
What are the risk factors for allergic asthma?
There are many risk factors for developing allergic asthma. Allergies are a major risk factor, as are other respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or sinusitis. People with a family history of asthma or allergies are also at increased risk. Other risk factors include exposure to environmental triggers such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, or dust mites.
Are there any complications for allergic asthma?
Allergic asthma is a type of asthma that is triggered by an allergy. Allergic asthma can be difficult to control and can lead to serious complications, including:
- Asthma attacks: Asthma attacks can be triggered by exposure to an allergen. During an asthma attack, the airways narrow and make it difficult to breathe. Asthma attacks can be deadly if not treated immediately.
- Airway damage: Over time, the repeated inflammation from allergic asthma can damage the airways. This damage can lead to permanent lung damage and make it even more difficult to breathe.
- Complications from medications: People with allergic asthma often need to take medication to control their symptoms. These medications can have side effects, such as drowsiness, weight gain, and dizziness.
If you have allergic asthma, it is important to work with your doctor to create a treatment plan. With proper treatment, you can minimize your symptoms and reduce your risk of complications.
Can allergic asthma be cured?
There is no cure for allergic asthma, but it can be managed through avoidance of triggers and the use of medications. Allergic asthma is a chronic condition that requires lifelong management. However, with proper treatment, people with allergic asthma can live normal, active lives.
How EVA Teleconsult can help protect against allergic asthma symptoms
Chronic conditions like allergic asthma can be managed successfully, with some help from EVA Teleconsult. That’s because, with us, our patients can always expect the following:
- Timely appointments – No more time wasted while waiting outside a doctor’s office. With us, appointments begin right when they’re supposed to, even if they’re made the same day.
- Guaranteed 30-minute consultation times – No more rushing or quickly dashed off prescriptions with no explanations. Our doctors take the time needed to give you information about your concerns, and are open to answering all your questions.
- 5-star ratings for our doctors – Because our doctors know to explain things in a way patients can understand, we frequently get positive feedback from them.
Get started on getting the treatment you or your loved one need, and book an online consultation today.