Many people with allergies often also suffer asthma, but do allergies cause asthma? Are the two mutually exclusive? As it turns out, allergies can induce asthma attacks. This kind of asthma is commonly known as “allergic asthma.”
How do allergies cause asthma?
An allergy is the immune system’s reaction when exposed to what is an otherwise harmless substance. Allergens trigger a series of reactions by the immune system. These reactions can also induce asthma. Allergies can cause asthma because some allergens (inhaled allergens) are also asthma triggers. Common inhaled allergens include animal dander (skin and saliva), dust mites, cockroach particles, mold, and pollen.
Some food allergies can also trigger asthma. The most common associated with allergic symptoms are: eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, shrimp and other shellfish. Food preservatives can also trigger asthma through allergic reactions. These additives, such as sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite, are commonly used in food processing and may be found in foods such as dried fruit or vegetables, potatoes, wine and beer, bottled lime or lemon juices, shrimp, and pickled foods.
What To Do if You have Allergies or Asthma
If you suspect that allergies are causing your asthma, see your Sneeze allergist to discuss the topic. You might need additional allergy testing to determine what your allergens are and to establish if there is a connection between your allergies and your asthma.
However, in the meanwhile, you can address the most common allergens in order to prevent asthma attacks. These include dust mites, mold, animal dander, and pollen. For dust mites, encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs with allergen-proof zippered covers. Wash your bedding once a week, vacuum often with a HEPA filter and wear a mask while doing so. Dust frequently with a damp cloth—be sure to get all the nooks and crannies in your house such as lampshades and windowsills.
For mold and mildew, air out damp areas frequently and run a dehumidifier. Clean bathrooms regularly with solution that kills mold. For bugs, make sure to keep all food covered, use insect bait or traps, and spray insect repellant if necessary (when no one is at home). Use air conditioning instead of opening the windows as often as possible to prevent outdoor pollen from coming in. For pet dander, be sure to brush your pets regularly (or have someone else brush them), and restrict your pet’s living area so that it’s not allowed in your bedroom at any time. Try to wash your dog or cat as often as possible to remove dander.
See Your Local Sneeze Allergist
If you are exhibiting asthma symptoms which have not yet been treated, or have any other issues, book an appointment at your local Sneeze office. Your Sneeze doctor will be able to help treat your symptoms by prescribing medication or offering other recommendations. You might even consider allergy shots (immunotherapy) for a permanent solution.