Allergies: Asthma and Allergies — What's the Connection? | Everyday Health
About half of asthma cases are related to allergies. Learn about the causes of these conditions, and the best ways to control allergic asthma. The link between asthma and food allergies, and what patients with asthma or food allergies can do to keep both conditions well-controlled. Over time allergies can trigger asthma. Learn the facts about allergy-induced asthma, including the correlation, causation, and treatments.
For some people, this same reaction also affects the lungs and airways, leading to asthma symptoms. Are allergies and asthma treated differently? Most treatments are designed to treat either asthma or allergies. But a few treatments help with both conditions.
Montelukast Singulair can ease both allergy and asthma symptoms. Called a leukotriene modifier, this daily pill helps control immune system chemicals released during an allergic reaction. In rare cases, montelukast has been linked to psychological reactions, including suicidal thinking. Seek medical advice right away for any unusual psychological reaction to one of these medications.
Allergy shots can help treat asthma by gradually reducing your immune-system response to certain allergy triggers. Immunotherapy involves getting regular injections of a tiny amount of the allergens that trigger your symptoms.Peanut Allergies: A Bigger Threat to Kids with Asthma
Your immune system builds up a tolerance to the allergens over time, and your allergic reactions diminish. In turn, asthma symptoms decrease as well. This treatment generally requires regular injections over a period of three to five years.
Anti-immunoglobulin E IgE therapy. Cold washing followed by hot tumble drying, once items are dry, will kill dust mites. Dry cleaning will similarly kill dust mites, but like cold washing with a hot tumble dry, will not remove the allergen. General cleaning Where possible, the person with asthma should leave the room when household cleaning in particular vacuuming is being carried out, and for at least 20 minutes afterwards. Washable curtains or external shutters are other options. Other measures While removal of carpets in favour of hard floors is sometimes recommended, this has not been shown to reduce the level of house dust mite exposure in the home.
Consider thoroughly and regularly vacuuming using an appropriate appliance first such as one with a HEPA filterbefore considering this more drastic step. Some modern carpets are manufactured with anti-microbial treatments which may also help.
Relationship of Allergy with Asthma: There Are More Than the Allergy “Eggs” in the Asthma “Basket”
Reducing humidity in the home is also worth considering - aim for a dry and well-ventilated house with adequate floor and wall insulation. Air conditioners or dehumidifiers but not evaporative coolers may be beneficial, particularly in more humid areas as they lower the relative humidity. Pets Exposure to pets e. Cats and dogs are a major source of allergens in the home environment. The allergens come from the sweat glands in cats and salivary glands in dogs.
As all cats and dogs have sweat and salivary glands, all breeds have allergens. However, the amount of allergen released can vary between breeds.
As allergens are stuck to the hair and skin of pets, the allergens become airborne when the pet sheds their hair. The allergens can remain airborne for some time. Cat allergen is especially difficult to remove from houses. It can remain in the house for months after the cat is removed. Cat allergen can be found in places where cats have never lived. For example, it can be carried around on clothing to schools and offices.
Pet allergen avoidance The most effective method of allergen avoidance for people with asthma who are allergic to cats or dogs is to not have these pets in the home. Therefore if your existing pet is causing significant allergy or asthma problems, unfortunately your pet may need to be re-homed with another family.
However, as a first step, your pet should be kept outside most or all of the time, making sure it has a safe and warm home outdoors.
If your pet must be kept inside, it should be limited to one area of the house and should not be allowed into the bedroom of the person with asthma. Other allergen reduction measures include: Tips for visiting friends with pets: Pollen Allergy to airborne pollen, grains from certain grasses, weeds, and trees is common in people with asthma in Australia.
Pollen counts are highest on hot still, or very windy sunny days.
Asthma & Allergy - National Asthma Council Australia
Pollen allergen avoidance Completely avoiding pollen can be difficult during the pollen season, but the following steps may help reduce exposure: Contact your local Asthma Foundation or talk to your local nursery for information on low allergen gardens. Mould Exposure to indoor and outdoor areas that are damp and have mould can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. Mould avoidance measures Air filters and ionizers have been shown to reduce airborne mould, but how this affects asthma control is uncertain.
Measures that may reduce mould exposure include: If you are sensitive to strong odours, wear a mask or ask someone else to do this for you.
Asthma and Allergies — What's the Connection?
Food Foods are not common triggers for asthma symptoms. They rarely trigger asthma alone, but may trigger asthma as part of a generalised severe food allergy reaction involving other symptoms in the skin and gut. This reaction is known as anaphylaxis and it can be life-threatening.
It is rare in adults and uncommon in children. Food additives and chemicals also rarely trigger asthma. Most reactions to food additives and chemicals are not allergic reactions and cannot be tested by using skin prick tests or serum specific IgE tests.
If foods or food additives are suspected as triggers for your asthma, you may need to be referred to an allergy or immunology specialist for further detailed assessment. It usually requires a series of regular injections over several years. The optimal number of years has not been determined, but most people receive injections for at least three years.
Anti-immunoglobulin E IgE immunotherapy targets the chemical signals that cause the allergic reaction in the first place. An example of anti-IgE therapy is omalizumab Xolair. Some of the most common nonallergenic triggers are cold air, exercise, and other respiratory infections. Many people with asthma have more than one trigger. The best defense against allergies and asthma is to pay attention to your own triggers, as they can change over time.