There is often a link between allergies and asthma.
Not everyone who has allergies has asthma, and not everyone with asthma has allergies. But allergens such as pollen, dust and pet dander can trigger asthma symptoms and asthma attacks in certain people.
This is called allergic asthma.
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The most common signs of asthma are:
- Coughing, especially at night, during exercise or when laughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
Allergic asthma can be intensified by factors that cause nonallergic asthma, such as viral respiratory infections, exercise, irritants in the air, stress, drugs and certain food additives, and weather conditions.
Regardless of what causes your symptoms, your allergist is best equipped to diagnose asthma, determine its trigger factors and whether or not they are caused by allergies, and provide the best plan for your treatment. An allergist can determine if you have allergic asthma by doing tests that will help in making a diagnosis.
Treatment and Management
Allergists are specially trained to help you manage your asthma and allergies so that you can live the life you want – with no limits.
By taking a family history and conducting testing through skin or blood tests, an allergist can work with you to identify the allergens that are triggering your asthma.
Your allergist can also help you build a plan to manage your condition. This plan can include quick-relief and long-term asthma control medicines, as well as tips for avoiding triggers such as:
- Pollen from grass, trees and weeds
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
Your allergist can also help you treat the underlying allergy that is triggering your asthma. One treatment is allergy immunotherapy, which is a preventive treatment that helps your body become less sensitive to specific allergens. This can be accomplished through two medications: allergy shots and sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue. Be sure to discuss this and other treatment options with your allergist.