- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Dec 09 2017
The Relationship Between Allergies and Asthma
Allergies are actually your immune system’s way of fighting off what it thinks is an unwanted substance entering your body. The very system that biologically protects you against disease is releasing chemicals called histamines that cause your annoying allergy symptoms. Postnasal drip and sneezing are a reaction to these foreign substances.
Similarly, asthma sufferers experience a battle in their airways. As a result, those airways become inflamed, making them more sensitive to everyday inhalants such as dust and pollen. Asthma sufferers may experience symptoms year-round or seasonally, as allergy sufferers are prone to do.
Allergies aren’t the only factor that can trigger an asthmatic reaction. Exercise, stress, and even GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can kick an asthma attack into gear. In many patients, a combination of these factors together at various times triggers an asthma attack.
Often those who suffer from asthma in the springtime and fall, when airborne allergens are at their worst, are allergy-induced asthma patients. It’s important to note, however, that allergens come in a variety of forms, from household dust and other particles to ragweed in the fall and pine around Christmastime.
Asthma vs. Allergies
Allergy symptoms include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and headaches. While coughing can be present in allergy sufferers, a prolonged, disruptive cough can be a sign of the more serious illness: asthma.
Asthma symptoms include a dry cough that includes wheezing or whistling. An asthma sufferer will often experience difficulty in breathing, including chest tightness.
For parents, watch for children whose breathing may be louder or quicker than normal. Watch for changes in a child’s play habits, as strenuous activity may become harder for children with asthma.
For many asthma sufferers, symptoms may become worse during the night. Those suffering from asthma may also notice that extremely cold weather exacerbates symptoms.
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