I’ve talked before about the link between allergies and asthma in my post called “Asthma and Allergies: What’s the Link?”. Since many of your little ones suffer from both allergies and asthma, we decided to revisit the topic in today’s blog post.
There are many factors which can trigger symptoms in people with asthma, such as viral infections, tobacco smoke, exercise, and allergens. People whose asthma symptoms are triggered by allergies are said to have “allergy-induced asthma” or “allergic asthma”. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, this is the most common type of asthma. Depending on the type of allergies a person has (food allergies, outdoor environmental allergens like pollen, indoor environmental allergens like pet dander, etc.), exposure to that allergen can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma for these individuals. Symptoms of asthma might include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath. To learn more about allergen triggers for allergic asthma, visit this link.
Your child’s physician will be able to determine if your little one has allergic asthma, based on their medical history, a physical exam, lung function test, and in some cases, an x-ray. The doctor may use blood tests to determine what your child is allergic to and what might be triggering the asthma.
If your child is diagnosed with allergic asthma, their allergist will likely recommend treatment that consists of quick-relief medications, in case of an asthma attack, in addition to long-term control medications to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. For individuals who have allergic asthma, it is also helpful to avoid exposure to the allergens which trigger their symptoms. It’s difficult to control the outdoor environmental allergens you are exposed to since you can’t control the air outside. However, you can take these steps to reduce the exposure to indoor environmental allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and mold. For individuals whose asthma is triggered by food allergens, the key is to eliminate these foods from their diet and reduce their exposure to them as much as possible.