Separately, allergies and asthma are both common conditions. However, research has shown that they often occur together as well. Let’s take a look at why allergies and asthma are connected, as well as what you can do to manage your symptoms.
What Happens When You Come in Contact With an Allergen?
If you have allergies, your body incorrectly identifies a harmless substance, like pollen or protein from a certain food, as a threat. In an attempt to protect you, your body creates antibodies that bind to the allergen whenever you come into contact with it.
This releases chemicals in your body like histamine, which causes things like nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and other allergy symptoms.
In some people, this reaction can also affect the lungs and airways, leading to asthma symptoms.
The Same Substances Can Trigger Allergies and Asthma
One of the main reasons the two conditions are connected is that they share the same triggers. Some common substances that can cause both asthma and allergy symptoms include:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
Additionally, if you have food allergies and asthma, eating foods you are allergic to may worsen your asthma symptoms and make breathing more difficult.
Does Having Allergies Mean That You Will Develop Asthma?
No. Many people have allergies and never experience asthma symptoms. However, having hay fever or other allergies does increase your risk of developing asthma. A family history of allergies can increase your risk as well.
Treating Both Conditions
Even if you have allergies and asthma together, you will often have separate treatments for each condition.
For asthma, you may be prescribed an emergency inhaler and long-term asthma control medication to help control your symptoms. While for your allergies, you may take antihistamines or other medications prescribed by your doctor or over-the-counter options that you can pick up at Wender & Roberts Pharmacy or other drugstores in Georgia.
There are also several ways you can manage both conditions. One of the biggest is to avoid substances that trigger your symptoms. If you are unsure what those are, allergy testing via skin prick or blood tests can help identify them so you know what to stay away from.
Immunotherapy is another option for some people. It is a form of treatment that builds tolerance to an allergen by introducing it to the body in small doses over a period of time, usually severally years. It’s administered in the form of allergy shots or drops.
To learn more about what treatment options can help manage your allergies and asthma or to schedule an appointment with one of our allergists, contact ENT of Georgia North today.