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Allergies and Asthma: The Connection

Allergies and Asthma: The Connection Can

Allergies and asthma are two of the most common conditions in the United States. In fact, 40% of children and 30% of adults have allergies, and about 1 in 13 people have asthma. While many people have one condition without the other, many experts are finding that the two conditions are connected.

Finding out the symptoms and triggering factors between each condition can help you prevent attacks and potential exposures by helping reduce symptoms.

Symptoms of Allergies and Asthma

While both conditions cause respiratory symptoms like cough and congestion, they both have unique symptoms as well. Common allergy symptoms that are different from asthma include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Rashes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Hives
  • Runny nose

On the other hand, asthma symptoms that are unique from allergies are:

  • Chest tightness
  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing at night or first thing in the morning

In many cases, allergies trigger or worsen asthma reactions. It is called allergic asthma, or allergy-induced asthma, by medical professionals. The two conditions are very closely related in these cases, and it impacts up to 60% of people with asthma.

Treatments for Allergies and Asthma

Although most medications treat each condition separately, some treatments help with both allergies and asthma. These medications include:

  • Allergy shots
  • Leukotriene modifier
  • Anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) therapy
  • Montelukast medication

If you struggle with both conditions, speak with a doctor to see if any of these treatments are appropriate for your situation.

Realizing that the two conditions are connected can also help you take steps to avoid triggers. For example, reducing dust will improve your allergic asthma if you are allergic to dust mites. However, do note that nonallergic triggers can set off an asthma attack, including exercise, cold air, and respiratory infections. It’s important to be aware of all your triggers to help you manage your symptoms.

Staying informed about your conditions, working with a healthcare provider, and making changes to limit exposure will help you manage both allergies and asthma effectively.

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