Asthma

Untreated allergies make asthma symptoms more severe and difficult to manage.

Allergy plays a major role in triggering and aggravating asthma. Around 80% of people with asthma also have allergy. Asthma causes a narrowing of the airways, which obstructs airflow to and from the lungs, making breathing difficult. Asthma can be highly distressing and debilitating. Severe asthma attacks can be fatal.

The symptoms of asthma can be controlled with effective treatment and management. Controlling allergies is a critical part of this. If you have asthma and an allergy, the more you avoid and reduce your allergen exposure, the more your asthma will improve. Untreated allergies can make your asthma symptoms more severe and difficult to manage. Determining if allergy could be aggravating your asthma requires careful medical diagnosis.

Australia has among the highest prevalence of asthma in the developed world. More than 20% of Australian adolescents have asthma-like symptoms—compared with less than 5% in Eastern Europe and some Asian and African countries. Around 10% of Australian adults suffer from asthma. Allergy and asthma account for an estimated 20% of Australia’s health expenditure.

Causes

Allergens and other factors that can trigger or aggravate asthma include:

  • dust mites, cockroaches and other insects
  • pollens from grasses, trees and weeds
  • contact with animals
  • animal dander (skin flakes) and saliva
  • mould spores
  • smoke
  • solvents and fumes
  • cold air and changes in temperature
  • exercise

Symptoms

The common symptoms of asthma include:

  • wheezing when breathing out
  • persistent irritable cough, especially at night
  • difficult in breathing and shortness of breath
  • tightness and heaviness in the chest
  • wheezing or coughing with exercise

Treatment

Asthma and allergy symptoms can be managed and treated in a number of ways:

  • managing/avoiding allergic triggers
  • antihistamines
  • corticosteroids
  • saline nasal sprays
  • immunotherapy or desensitisation
  • asthma action plan
  • asthma relievers, preventers and symptom controllers
  • asthma inhalers and nebulisers

Allergy Medical helps many patients to better manage asthma by better managing their allergies. To see how we could help you, just ask us.

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