One thing is certain. allergies and asthma have one major thing in common and that is causing people to suffer and be miserable. The specific triggers for allergies may also cause asthma attacks. In particular unlucky individuals, skin or food allergies can induce asthma symptoms. However, asthma is already present in some people without allergies. While allergies and asthma often hit at the same time, there are major differences between the two.
When you have been coughing and sneezing constantly, it’s probably not just a common cold or cough but allergies. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology states that allergies are a major cause of illness in the country. There are about 50 million people, about one in every five, who get allergies.
What are allergies? It is the body’s immune system response or oversensitivity to proteins or triggers in the environment known as allergens. These include indoor elements such as dust, cockroaches, pets, molds and certain food items as well as outdoor triggers like pollen, smoke and other pollutants. Signs of allergic reaction include itchy eyes, nose, mouth or ears, sneezing, runny nose, dry skin, hives, cough, wheezing or tightness in the chest and throat.
Asthma, on the other hand, is caused by inflammation of the lungs that constricts the muscles around the airways and breathing tubes which reduces air flow. This results in chest wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Aside from allergens, asthma is triggered by smoke, cold or humid air, strong odors, and strenuous exercise. Individuals who get asthma can be hospitalized or worse may die if symptoms are left untreated. Quality of life for those who suffer from asthma can be improved and managed with proper diagnosis and treatment regimen.
You may need other medications to treat asthma and allergies especially if your symptoms become severe. However, the most important step for asthma and allergy sufferers is to take charge and get their symptoms under control. Both are easily treatable, but the first step is to properly diagnose and recognize the substances that trigger symptoms.
If you need to know the answer to the question, is it asthma or allergies? the specialists at America’s Allergist can provide easy and convenient ways to identify the things that trigger allergy and asthma symptoms as well as treatment and ways to limit exposure. It is important to manage your symptoms because allergy and asthma symptoms may change over time which requires people to adjust their treatment or identify any new triggers. Take control of your asthma or allergies. Contact us today!