September 16, 2022

Allergy-Induced Asthma

Allergy-Induced Asthma

Allergy-induced asthma is an asthmatic condition that is caused by allergy symptoms. This condition affects more than 60% of the 25 million asthma sufferers in America.

Find out what causes allergic asthma, how to reduce symptoms, common allergy-induced asthma treatments and how to address allergies at their root cause.  

Is allergic asthma the same as asthma?

Allergy-induced asthma is asthma that is triggered by allergies.

While many people suffer from allergies or asthma on their own, some asthma symptoms may be worsened by allergies — and vice versa.

Asthma

Asthma is a medical condition that constricts the airways, making it difficult to breathe.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that 25 million Americans (1 in 13) suffer from asthma each year. About 20 million adults suffer from asthma, and around 5 million children suffer from this condition, too.

Asthma is marked by difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness.

Allergies

Allergies are when the immune system has an overreaction to harmless substances that enter the body (like common allergens, such as pollen or dander).

Believing the allergens are harmful substances, the immune system releases histamines that cause inflammation, itching, redness, and other allergy symptoms.

More than a whopping 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. And when combined with asthma, allergies can lead to more severe symptoms than just itchy, watery eyes and nose.

Can I treat allergy-induced asthma with allergy medication?

Yes, allergy-induced asthma treatments are similar to allergy and asthma treatments.

Most doctors recommend treating, preventing and managing allergy symptoms with medication, such as antihistamines and nasal sprays.

Any allergies that affect the respiratory system may cause asthma-induced allergies, so it’s important to keep these symptoms under control.

Does bronchitis make allergy-induced asthma worse?

Both allergies and asthma may cause bronchitis.

Bronchitis is simply an inflammation of the bronchial tube lining, which means that any conditions that may cause bronchial irritation may also lead to bronchitis.

Since asthma may constrict the airways and lead to inflammation, patients who suffer from asthma are more likely to get bronchitis. This type of bronchitis is called asthma-induced bronchitis.

Allergies may also lead to bronchitis, and allergy-induced bronchitis is called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD).

Suffering from both asthma and allergies may increase your chances of developing bronchitis, including COPD.

Allergy-Induced Asthma and COVID

Patients who suffer from asthma are also more likely to suffer from may be more likely to suffer from more severe COVID (if they contract the virus).

The good news is that this increased chances of severe COVID as the result of asthma applies to patients who suffer from asthma caused by air pollution, exercise, stress, and weather — not allergies.

Obviously, all the data surrounding COVID is still fairly new, so this may not apply to every asthmatic. Still, researchers urge anyone with respiratory issues to be more cautious when it comes to COVID, including wearing a mask, practicing good hygiene and getting vaccinated (if eligible).

Other Allergy and Asthma Triggers

Both allergies and asthma symptoms may be worsened by environmental conditions, such as weather, pollution, climate change and ozone.

Residents of large urban areas where pollution abounds are more likely to suffer from more severe symptoms of both allergies and asthma — and are both more susceptible to developing both conditions, too.

Smoke from forest fires (such as the ones that now tear through the West Coast annually) may also exacerbate symptoms of both allergies and asthma. Residents of urban areas, such as New York City and Los Angeles are more likely to suffer from severe allergy and asthma symptoms.

Before leaving home, you may want to check the pollution levels, air quality and pollen levels and consider staying indoors if these levels are higher than average.

Allergies, Asthma and Kids

Each year, 7.2% of children are diagnosed with hayfever, and 1 in 13 children suffer from food allergies (though many children do grow out of their food allergies when they reach adulthood).

Children that suffer from allergies are also more likely to develop asthma, so it’s important to monitor your child’s symptoms closely — especially since asthma may lead to higher instances of bronchitis.

Luckily, many children that suffer from asthma grow out of this condition in adulthood, too. Though it’s still important to keep an eye on your child’s respiratory health to ensure that asthma and allergies don’t lead to more chronic conditions as they age.

Allergy Induced Asthma Symptoms

Doctors don’t know what causes asthma, though it is known that allergy-induced asthma is caused by allergies.

The symptoms of allergy-induced asthma are similar to common allergy symptoms. The most common symptoms may include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

Other symptoms may also include allergy symptoms, such as runny and itchy nose, watering and itching eyes, sneezing and more. But the symptoms that trigger asthma are usually respiratory issues, such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Allergy-Induced Asthma Treatment

Allergy-induced asthma treatments are similar to allergy treatments.

While your doctor may recommend common asthma treatments (such as an inhaler or avoiding activities that may lead to airway constriction), doctors feel that the best way to avoid allergic asthma symptoms is to avoid allergy symptoms.

This may include allergy symptoms prevention as well as addressing the root cause of allergies.

Preventing Allergy Symptoms

One of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid allergens altogether. Some of the most common allergens that may cause symptoms include:

Avoiding these allergens as much as possible may help prevent allergy and asthma attacks. When allergen avoidance isn’t possible, symptoms may be treated with allergy medicine.

Allergen Avoidance

Avoiding allergens isn’t always easy — but it is possible.

If you suffer from seasonal allergens, such as tree pollen, ragweed or mold, you may simply want to avoid going outdoors as much as possible during peak seasons (or simply check the allergen counts before leaving home).

Sometimes it isn’t possible to avoid all allergens, so you may need to do what you can to mitigate their effect. Removing all allergen-soaked clothing before entering your home and taking a shower to wash allergens from your hair and skin each day may help prevent symptoms.

Allergy Medications

Allergy medications, such as antihistamines, steroid sprays and saline drops have been proven effective at preventing and reducing allergy symptoms — and as a result, allergic asthma symptoms, too.

The most common allergy medications may include antihistamines, administered orally, in nasal sprays and in eye drops. Antihistamines are available both over the counter and by prescription.

Nasal steroid sprays may help alleviate nasal symptoms and are available by prescription only.

Salines nasal sprays and eye drops (also available over the counter) may help reduce both nasal and eye allergy symptoms.

The main drawback to allergy medications is that they come with side effects. Some of the most common side effects include dryness, drowsiness, sleep issues and gastrointestinal issues.

Addressing the Root Cause of Allergies

While allergy medications treat the symptoms of allergies, they don’t address the root causes. Antihistamines and steroids may help block histamines at the time of their release but they don’t prevent allergen-induced histamine release.

Allergy immunotherapy is one way to treat allergies at their root cause.

Allergy Immunotherapy

Allergy immunotherapy is a therapy that introduces small amounts of an allergen to the body, allowing the immune system to become accustomed to these allergens.

When the body stops seeing allergens as a threat, the immune system may stop releasing histamines, which are the cause of uncomfortable allergy symptoms.

This type of therapy has been proving effective at reducing allergy symptoms after six months. Many patients are able to lower doses of allergy medications and some patients may find that they don’t need allergy medication at all after completing this therapy.

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots deliver small doses of allergens into the body, allowing the body to build immunity.

This is the most popular type of allergy immunotherapy in the U.S.

To receive this type of treatment, patients may make an appointment with their healthcare provider (doctor or allergist) for a consultation. Shots are usually administered weekly during the build-up phase and monthly during the maintenance phase.

If you are at a higher risk of anaphylaxis, you may not be eligible for allergy shots. Your doctor may require that you be monitored for up to 45 minutes after your appointment (even if you don’t have a high risk of anaphylaxis).

Allergy Immunotherapy Administered Orally

Allergy immunotherapy is immunotherapy widely used in Europe. As with allergy shots, this type of immunotherapy may address the root cause of several allergies at once. It has been proven both safe and effective.

Curex’s at-home allergy immunotherapy is administered underneath the tongue, daily. Since anaphylaxis is rarer with this type of allergy immunotherapy, you may be able to self-administer at home.

To find out if you’re a good candidate for allergy-induced asthma treatments and at-home allergy immunotherapy, take our free quiz, or chat with a care manager to find out more.

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