Allergic Asthma

What is allergic asthma?

Allergic asthma is simply asthma triggered by an allergen.

When you have allergic asthma, your airways will become swollen because they developed an allergic reaction to something you inhaled that doesn’t meet your immune system well. The reaction is actually from your immune system.

If you have such allergic reaction, you will find yourself struggling to catch some breath.

If you inhale an allergen like pollen, your immune system won’t hesitate in reacting at once and the symptoms are immediate. Reports from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America shows that not less than 50% of those who have asthma have allergic asthma.

Allergic asthma can be treated.

Allergic asthma
Photo Credit: Creative Biolabs

What are the causes of allergic asthma?

Why you will develop allergic asthma is because your airways are inflamed and swollen from your immune system’s excessive reaction to an allergen. An allergen is usually a harmless substance. But when it gets into your body, your immune system sees it as harmful to you.

The substances listed below are common examples of allergens that can trigger an allergic asthma:

  • pet dander
  • air pollution
  • dust mites
  • pollen
  • scented  perfumes and lotions, and other strong odors
  • chemical fumes
  • tobacco smoke

The following examples are less common triggers for an asthmatic reaction:

  • eggs
  • wheat
  • milk
  • peanuts
  • fish
  • cockroaches
  • shellfish
  • tree nuts

That these allergens rarely cause allergic asthma doesn’t mean that they can’t cause severe allergic reactions.

What are the symptoms of allergic asthma?

The symptoms of the conventional asthma are the same as those from allergic asthma. These symptoms are:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest tightness
  • wheezing
  • rapid breathing
  • coughing

If skin allergies or hay fever come alongside the above symptoms, you may likely experience these:

  • itchy eyes
  • runny nose
  • congestion
  • itchy skin
  • flaky skin
  • rash
  • watery eyes

If the allergen wasn’t inhaled but swallowed, you might also experience the following symptoms:

  • tingly mouth
  • hives
  • swollen face, tongue, lips throat or mouth
  • anaphylaxis i.e. severe allergic reaction

How is allergic asthma diagnosed?

One of the common tests for diagnosis allergic asthma is the skin prick test. To do this, your skin will be pricked with a needle by your doctor. The needle will contain very small quantity of an allergen. That means the doctor will introduce an allergen into your body. This allergen will be allowed to be in your body for about 20 minutes. After this time, your skin will be checked for the presence of red bumps. If there are red bumps on your skin, you will be said to have an allergic reaction.

Other tests can also be employed to find out about your allergic state, whether it is associated with asthma or not.

These tests are:

  • Spirometry: It finds out how much air you breathe in and out. It also evaluates the state of your lungs’ bronchial tubes whether they have been narrowed or not.
  • Peak flow: it is a test of the function of the lungs particularly as it relates to air pressure caused by breathing out air.
  • Lung function: this will be used after you have taken certain medications especially bronchodilators. This lung function tests will assess the improvement you have recorded after you have taken the bronchodilators. You probably will be said to be asthmatic if the medication enhances your breathing.

What are the treatments for allergic asthma?

To treat allergic asthma, you can do it three ways. First, you can treat the allergy alone. Two, you can treat the asthma. Three, you can treat both.

Asthma

If the asthma is to be treated by your doctor, one prescription you will sure get is an anti-inflammatory medication. This medication can block any allergic response.

Albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, and Proventil HFA) is an inhaler that can relief the asthmatic symptoms very quickly. It is mostly used when the symptoms occur and two, when they are intermittent.

When your symptoms are mild and they are persistent, you can use other types of inhaler every day. Such inhalers are Serevent,  Pulmicort, and Asmanex

Oral medications such as Accolate and Singulair will be important when the symptoms have become very severe.

Allergies

Allergy treatment will be spelled out based on how severe the symptoms are. Antihistamines are ideal for the severe form of symptoms especially itching. Allergy shots are also good recommendations for this severe form of allergic asthma.

What are the potential complications of allergic asthma?

Anaphylaxis is one complication you can readily associate with people who have allergic asthma.

You can know an anaphylaxis by the following symptoms:

  • slurred speech
  • hives
  • nasal congestion
  • difficulty swallowing
  • anxiety
  • mouth swelling
  • facial swelling
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • cough
  • fainting

When nothing is done to an anaphylaxis relation, it can cause other problems like low blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, heart attack, body weakness, increased pulse rate, and pulmonary arrest.

How you can prevent allergic asthma

It seems that this disorder can’t be prevented. A change in environment can help you overreact less to allergens.

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