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  • There's A Connection Between Allergy And Asthma: 5 Common Triggers To Both Conditions

    It's called allergic asthma.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
There's A Connection Between Allergy And Asthma: 5 Common Triggers To Both Conditions
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  • Editor’s Note: This article is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to always consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs best.

    Asthma is a respiratory disease, in which chronic inflammation of the airways happens when exposed to asthma triggers. These triggers include allergens, thus underscoring the relationship between allergy and asthma.

    The allergy and asthma connection

    There's a breathing condition called allergic asthma, according to Cleveland Clinic. It happens "where the airways you breathe through tighten when you inhale an allergen." It's quite common among children and adults alike.

    Allergen is the term used to anything that elicits an allergic reaction to someone who has an allergy to it. That allergic reaction is the response of the immune system to what it finds dangerous to the body.

    The immune system releases the chemical called immunoglobulin E (IgE), whose job is to protect the body. But problem arises when there's an overproduction of IgE, causing the airways to narrow and making it difficult to breathe.

    According to experts, allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma among sufferers. For every 25 million astmatic people in the United States, for example, an estimated 60 percent is due to allergies.

    Causes of allergic asthma

    Unlike asthma, whose exact cause hasn't been identified, though genetics has been found to play a big role, allergic asthma's cause is clear. It is when you get exposed to your "individualized trigger."

    Animal dander

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    The little pieces of skin that animals shed contain a type of protein that triggers an asthma attack. This protein is also found in the sweat, saliva, and urine of animals, such as cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, rats, birds, and even cockroaches.

    House dust mites

    These are minute insects that live in rugs, carpets, curtains, beds, pillow cases, upholstered furniture, and even stuffed toys. They thrive on human skin, flakes, and cotton. Their fecal pellets are the ones that trigger an allergic reaction.

    Pollen

    This is the powdery substance found in plants and flowers. Common examples are grass and weed. When they are inhaled by people who are allergic to pollen, they can also cause an asthma attack.

    Molds

    These are tiny fungi that thrive on wet places, especially with stagnant water. They have airborne spores that trigger an asthma attack.

    Food allergy

    There are particular food items that trigger an allergic reaction and cause an asthma attack. These include shrimps and other other seafood, as well as peanuts and chocolates.

    Aside from allergens, there are other factors that can worsen your condition. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), these include:

    • Viral respiratory infections
    • Exercise
    • Airborne irritants
    • Stress
    • Drugs
    • Certain food additives
    • Weather conditions

    Symptoms of allergic asthma

    There are four common asthma symptoms, according to Dr. Paul Rilhelm M. Evangelista, who specializes in pulmonology medicine and interventional pulmonology. He elaborated on the subject in a webinar organized by the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP).

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    Wheezing

    When there's inflammation or buildup of phlegm along the airways, the space for air becomes smaller. You will then gasp for breath and let out a bird sound. This is called wheezing.

    Coughing

    If the mucus or phlegm is too thick along the airways, this will cause coughing. You will do it constantly in the hope of improving your condition.

    Breathlessness

    You'll feel out of breath all the time because the air you breathe gets trapped along the airways. This is caused by the thick buildup of mucus or phelgm.

    Tightening of the chest

    If the airways are too narrow and the air is already trapped amid the thick builduo of mucus or phelgm, you will naturally feel like your chest is going to explode.

    To confirm that your condition is connected to allergy and asthma, experts suggest going to an allergist. The allergist will give you a test to find out what causes your allergy and if it triggers your asthma. You will be evaluated and given the proper treatment.

    Read here on chronic asthma and here on occupational asthma.

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