Now that Spring has finally begun, most people will begin to suffer from allergies. While allergies can be a nuisance, dealing with allergies and asthma together can lead to a miserable season. As asthma affects 1 in 13 people, it’s nearly as common as seasonal allergies. As a result, both conditions can occur at the same time quite frequently.
First and foremost, the signs and symptoms of asthma and allergies should be discussed and distinguished from each other. Allergies often present through watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, scratchy throat, or rashes and hives. Asthma itself does not cause the aforementioned symptoms. Those suffering from asthma experience tightness in the chest, wheezing, breathlessness, and coughing at night or in the early morning. Combine both of these at the same time and the result is allergy-induced asthma.
Many of the same things that induce allergies can affect those suffering from asthma. Pollen, spores, dust mites, and pet dander are just examples of common allergens. When someone comes into contact with an allergen, the immune systems kicks in and essentially attacks the allergens the same way it would react to a bacteria or virus. It’s important that those with asthma keep a close eye on the pollen count and limit the time they spend outside on dry or extremely windy days.
The treatments available for either affliction generally target that specific affliction and not both. However, there have been some treatment methods present themselves to treat symptoms of allergy-induced asthma. Singulair is a medication that is primarily prescribed for asthma but has shown that it can help reduce the effects of both allergy and asthma symptoms. Allergy shots are also an option for treatment. This is also known as immunotherapy. Small amounts of an allergen are introduced into the body. This helps the immune system build a tolerance to specific allergens. Allergy shots are typically done through a series over the course of several years.
It can be imperative that those who suffer from allergies pay attention to their bodies during allergy season since signs of asthma may present themselves during the season. Once these signs begin to show, it’s wise to visit with a doctor to determine if a course of treatment needs to be put into place.