Allergies Relate to Asthma in Children and Adults

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Do you experience breathlessness after exposure to allergens? If so, you may require an allergic asthma treatment to prevent breathing issues. While many Atlanta allergy patients have suffered from breathing difficulties during an allergic reaction, they’re often surprised to learn that allergic asthma is in fact the most common type of asthma. Here’s a closer look at how this condition can affect adults.

Asthma is a complex disease triggered by exposure to a range of environmental irritants and allergens, along with other health conditions. With an effective asthma treatment, the condition can be managed and Atlanta area adults and children can enjoy a healthy and productive life. In general, allergic asthma is typically associated with children, but many adults also suffer from this condition. And while asthma can have severe health repercussions for some people, just how prominent are allergies in connection with this lung disorder?

Allergic Asthma in U.S. Adults

Asthma has often been linked with allergies. However, these studies have all focused on children or teens, rather than adults. A recent study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the medical journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), shows that 75 percent of adults with asthma between the ages of 20 and 40 have at least one allergy, and that 65 percent of those older than 55 have at least one allergy.

During the study, a total of 2,573 adults were surveyed. 151 of the participants had asthma, and all were tested for 19 different allergens.

The most common allergies among the patients over 55 were dust mites (36 percent), ryegrass (33 percent), cats (27 percent), dogs (24 percent) and German cockroaches (10 percent). 50 percent were allergic to at least one indoor source, and 39 percent were allergic to at least one outdoor source.

For asthma patients aged 20 to 40 years, 60 percent were allergic to an indoor source and 53 percent were allergic to an outdoor source. Similar to the older group, the most common allergies in this group were to house mites and dogs.

The numbers show that people 55 years and older were more likely to be sensitized to indoor allergens, while in the 20 to 40 age group they were sensitized with both indoor and outdoor allergens.

One of the studies authors states in a press release that, “Allergists have known the prevalence of allergies among asthmatic children is high at 60 to 80 percent, but it was thought allergies were not as common in asthmatic adults,” These findings are important, and can help lead to proper diagnosis and treatment.”

Although asthma and allergies may have similar symptoms–coughing and wheezing–they have very different causes.

The Causes of Asthma and Allergies

Understanding these causes is crucial to identifying an appropriate allergy treatment.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that both narrows and inflames the air passages. It is also characterized by a tight chest and a feeling of being unable to get enough air as well as coughing and wheezing. Although the commonly recognized symptoms of asthma occur in episodes or attacks, an asthmatic patient always has it.

Allergies, on the other hand, are caused when the immune system overreacts to the presence of a substance, or allergen, releasing chemicals to deal with what it thinks is a threat. Reactions range from mild to severe.

So, do allergies cause asthma? Well, an allergy will not be the root cause of the condition, but an allergic reaction may be the trigger that leads to asthma symptoms.

Additionally, while allergies are always to a specific allergen, an asthma attack can have a number of triggers, including exercise, pollen, and mold. Illnesses and certain drugs may also trigger an asthma attack.

The exact causes for both are unclear. They are likely caused by a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. Both of these afflictions also tend to start at childhood, although people of every age can get them. There is no cure for either, although a variety of treatments are available.

The ACAAI database says that over 50 million Americans have at least one allergy, while 26 million have asthma. Furthermore, the number of people with allergies and the number of people with asthma is rising. It is possible that these two numbers are connected.

However, Richard Weber, the president of ACAAI, says that, “Other factors, such as the hygiene hypothesis, climate change and an increase in awareness and education can also be reasons for this growth.”

Are Your Symptoms Allergies or Asthma?

Our team of doctors can help diagnose and treat your allergy and asthma symptoms. Make an appointment at one of the Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center clinic locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call us at (678) 668–4688.

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