Are you familiar with the term immune system? The immune system is part of your body that functions to protect you from attacks by viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. At times, your immune system may be too sensitive in its function resulting in it attacking harmless substances called allergens such as pollen, dust or cat dander present in your eyes, nose, under your skin and even lungs. When the immune system meets these allergens, it responds by producing IgE antibodies to fight them. The antibodies activate the release of chemicals such as histamine, which reacts by swelling and inflammation of the affected areas. The resulting symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. These reactions are termed as allergy reactions or an allergy.
Allergy-Induced Asthma, Its Causes and Diagnosis
The population of people with Asthma in the US is said to be 25 million with those with allergic asthma taking 60% of this number of patients. Allergy-Induced asthma is asthma that is caused by the body overreacting to harmless substances present in your airways. The harmless substances such as pollen, dust or cat dander make the immune system to overreact causing the muscles around the airways to swell as the body tries to remove them from the airways. The typical symptoms of allergy-induced asthma may include coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, runny nose, wheezing, burning eyes, nasal toughness, quick breathing, shortness of breath and chest gets tight. The airways, after a while, become filled with thick mucus, and it becomes hard to breathe, and it results in an asthma attack.
There has been an increase in allergy-induced asthma, and the cause of the rise is still unknown to scientists. The conventional explanation is that there has been an increase in the environmental pollution, which increases to the allergens in the air. The rise of these allergens in the atmosphere has increased the susceptibility of people to contracting allergies.
One cannot know when they have allergic asthma before seeking medical assistance as it is only a doctor who can confirm through a diagnosis. The standard test for allergies is the skin prick test where a physician pokes the skin with an allergen-containing needle and evaluates the skin after twenty minutes. If there is a presence of red bumps, the doctor confirms an allergic reaction. Another test is the spirometry, which involves measuring air inhaled and exhaled to evaluate the narrowing of the bronchial tubes. Peak flow is also a test for asthma, which consists of the measurement of the lung function through air pressure as one exhales. A doctor can also administer a bronchodilator whereby if your breathing improves, the doctor confirms allergy-induced Asthma.
How to Treat Allergy-Induced Asthma
After a successful diagnosis by a physician, there are different ways to treat asthma. The treatment may include managing the allergy, asthma or treating both. Asthma cannot be entirely cured of one medication, but the doctor can use a combination of drugs to alleviate the pain and suffering caused by the allergies. The following measures are usually used to control allergy-induced asthma, and they include:
- Preventive measures such as pest control and air filters
These defensive mechanisms help in minimizing the exposure of the body to allergens. The less the exposure to allergens the lower the risk of allergy-induced asthma.
- Nasal decongestant sprays
These sprays are used for the control of allergic asthma that has been prevalent in a person for a long time frame. They temporarily reduce nasal congestion, and they provide immediate relief to the patients. It is not advisable to treat mild asthma as it is powerful. It is also not advisable to be used for extended periods as it contains blocking properties. These blocking properties of the decongestant sprays can worsen the nasal congestion worse.
- Immunotherapy, which is also known as allergy shots
These are medications that make the body less sensitive to the allergens. This medication is said to vary from one person to the other in effectiveness.
- Cromolyn sodium or Nasal steroid sprays
These are medications that are not readily available unless they are prescribed by a physician. One of the most effective medications in this category is Flonase. The effectiveness of this medication as allergy-induced asthma is attributed to the fact that they work on the affected site.
- Oral Antihistamine
This category of medication is the most popular, tried and used control for asthma. These drugs are readily available for the asthma patients. The first generation drugs such as Benadryl and chlortimentor have a drowsy effect. Newer medications such as Allegra, on the other hand, lack the drowsiness effect.
Seek the assistance from a team of experienced physicians at the Becker Ear Nose & Throat Center. The physicians from this institution are professionals in their fields, and they are together authors of more than five textbooks, 100 articles, and also have different patents for various new surgical tools. Becker Ear Nose & Throat Center physicians are dedicated to using their expertise, experience, and skills in ensuring that you get all the healthcare assistance you need in ENT-related medical challenges. You can learn more about them here: www.beckerent.com.