Allergies / Asthma

Do you ever wonder what allergies and asthma have in common besides making you miserable? A lot, as it turns out. Both allergies and asthma affect your respiratory system. Although some of the symptoms are similar, there are distinct differences. In order to effectively treat and manage asthma and allergies it is important to have clear understanding of the two.

An allergy is an unusual reaction from your immune system to something in your environment, which is usually harmless to most people, like pet dander or a food. The immune system of the person allergic to this sees it as a threat and tries to fight off the perceived danger by releasing chemicals. This in turn causes various symptoms such as hives, rashes, itching, and swelling to increased mucus production. The type of allergen and where you encounter it determines what part of the body your symptoms will appear. For example, if you are allergic to nuts and eat something with nuts or nut by products in it, your symptoms will appear in your mouth, stomach and intestines.
However, asthma is classified based on whether the condition is brought about by allergens (extrinsic) or intrinsic which is not brought about by allergens or stimulated by external factors such as cigarette smoke or cleaning agents, a chest infection, stress, laughter, exercise, cold air. The symptoms of asthma are coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath and production of mucous in the airways.

Allergies and asthma often occur together. Allergic asthma or Allergy-induced Asthma is a common term to describe the situation in which the same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms may also cause asthma. The severity of asthma is made worse by allergens. For example, the symptoms of an individual suffering from both chronic asthma and an allergy to animal dander will be far worse than just being allergic to animal dander. To effectively treat and manage both, a careful diagnosis will go a long way in alleviating both. As there are many allergens and various severities of asthma, so are the treatments.

For more information for an accurate diagnosis and multi-pronged treatment approach, please contact Dr. Punjabi for a one on one consultation.

Read more on Allergies here and on Asthma here

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