Allergy vs Asthma Questions and Answers
Is it asthma or is it allergies? Read our below Q and A page to find out more information! For more information, please call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Lawrenceville GA, Atlanta GA, Conyers GA, Suwanee GA, Duluth GA, Grayson GA, Decatur GA, Brookhaven GA, Lithonia GA and Covington GA.
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Allergies and asthma are both common conditions and often occur together. That is, the same substances can trigger both allergies and asthma. Allergies are caused when the immune system becomes hypersensitive to an allergen, causing the immune system to act as if it was under threat. Asthma is a respiratory disorder that restricts the airways and makes it difficult to breathe.
Our immune systems are designed to protect us from potentially harmful threats and, as its name suggests, provide us with immunity from foreign pathogens that invade the body. Allergies occur when our immune systems overreact to something harmless, like certain foods, pollen, dust, bug bites, medications, and many others.
While sneezing and a runny nose is most commonly associated with allergies, symptoms of allergies can manifest themselves in the skin and respiratory tract, such as the lungs or sinuses.
Types of allergies include:
– Hay fever
– Asthma (allergy-induced asthma)
Allergies can sometimes develop suddenly or even disappear as we age. While allergies cannot be cured, with the right allergy plan, triggers for allergic reactions can be avoided or managed. The most important part of avoiding allergic triggers is determining the cause of your allergic reaction. You can better determine how to avoid symptom-causing allergens once you have determined the cause.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease which can make it difficult to breathe and can also cause discomfort while breathing. Asthma is associated with both allergic and non-allergic reactions and can be caused by either. Non-allergic asthma can be triggered by infections of the airway, medication, stress, air temperature, and smoke.
During an asthmatic episode, the airways in the lungs constrict or narrow. Asthma may also produce mucus, which can also hinder air from passing through the airways.
In some cases, symptoms of asthma can subside on their own without the need of medical intervention or prescription medications. For others, symptoms persist or worsen. This is when an asthma attack occurs. Asthma attacks are also known as flare-ups or exacerbations.
Symptoms of asthma include:
– Shortness of breath
– Chest tightness
Although asthma is not a curable condition, it is manageable. To help manage asthma flare-ups, medications are often prescribed. Most people can live normal lives without many interruptions from asthma attacks by proactively managing the symptoms of asthma flare-ups.
There are several stages of asthma, ranging from mild to severe. People may not have any symptoms in the mildest form of asthma. The first step in treating asthma is an early diagnosis. In some patients with chronic cough, diagnosis of asthma may be delayed. However, an accurate diagnosis of asthma will lead to starting the appropriate, early medical therapy, where you can then learn how to avoid triggers that make asthma symptoms worse.
Primary asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.
Take the following measures to help minimize your symptoms:
– Avoid allergens or triggers
– Take your medications as directed
– Avoid situations where you know you will be surrounded by allergens
The most common type of asthma is allergic asthma, where allergies trigger asthma symptoms. Approximately 8 out of 10 children with allergies also have asthma and roughly 7 out of 10 adults with asthma have at least one allergy. Identifying and avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms is an effective treatment for allergic asthma. You may also be able to reduce asthma symptoms if you can cut down on the number of allergens in your life.
A few good questions to ask an allergy or asthma specialist include:
– Am I using my medication correctly?
– How do I best manage my asthma?
– How do I reduce my asthma triggers?
– Could my home or workplace be causing my symptoms?
– Can I make any other changes to improve my asthma?
If you or someone you know is suffering from allergies or asthma, come to Allergy & Asthma Center today. Our staff are experienced in treating allergies and asthma symptoms and can help you manage your condition. For more information on our allergy and asthma treatments, call our office today. To book an appointment with our allergy and asthma specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today.