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February 24, 2008 at 11:19 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Allergies and Asthma: What's The Connection?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Asthma and allergies are two serious conditions that affect many people throughout the United States. Both have crippling symptoms that can restrict people from doing things that they love to do. Research has found that the two separate conditions may be linked.

Allergies

Allergies are caused when something is ingested or inhaled into the body and in response the immune system thinks that it is being attacked so it causes a disruption of the entire body. This is what is known as an allergic reaction and can cause hives or symptoms similar to that of a cold, for example.

Asthma

Asthma is caused by the tightening or inflammation of the bronchial tubes, making it difficult for air to flow through to the lungs. This makes it difficult for a person to breathe, causes tightness in the chest, coughing and/or wheezing.

The Connection

The two are related because of the number of people that they both affect. There is a condition called allergy-induced asthma, it is the most common type of asthma. Approximately 60% of people in the United States who have asthma have an allergy-related problem. For people with allergic asthma, an allergen or the symptoms of an allergic reaction often cause an asthma attack or asthma symptoms. Allergens often act as triggers for asthma symptoms because some may cause congestion, narrowing the airways and make it difficult to breathe.

What Types of Allergies Cause Asthma?

There are several allergies that can trigger asthma attacks or symptoms in different ways.

  • Inhaled allergens: They are the most common affects of allergies on asthma. It can be anything that a person may breathe in, such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander or mold. These typically cause hay fever within an allergic reaction. Physicians may recommend identifying the exact cause of an inhaled allergen since it is so risky to affecting asthma.
  • Food allergies: This is somewhat rare in the case of allergies and asthma, but some still have had reactions in this manner. People may have reactions to foods such as soy, peanuts and fresh fruits. Some food preservatives also can cause allergic reactions because of the chemicals used. Foods with preservatives that can cause an allergic reaction include prepared potatoes, beer, wine and dried fruits and vegetables.

Food allergies can cause symptoms of vomiting, hives and rash and can cause a person to start wheezing and if not treated properly the throat can begin to swell, shrinking the airways. It is best to avoid foods that a person is definitely allergic to as well as some that a person may be suspicious of.

Who Develops Allergic-Asthma?

Allergies and asthma can be troublesome for a person because of their close relation. Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma, but allergies do not necessarily cause all asthma. However, there are many people who have allergies who then develop asthma. People who are most likely to develop allergic asthma are people with a family history of it. The best way to treat this condition is to avoid all things that can trigger both allergies and asthma.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/allergies-and-asthma/AA00045

http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/allergies-asthma?page=2

Photo Credit: orimo

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