Living with Allergic Asthma

May 29, 2018

More than 26 million Americans have asthma, and the number of people with it continues to rise. A chronic and potentially dangerous disease in which the airways of the lungs become inflamed, asthma is closely intertwined with allergies.

As many as three out of four adults with asthma have at least one allergy. In fact, the most common form of asthma is allergic asthma, which accounts for 60 percent of all cases. Allergic asthma, also known as extrinsic asthma, is set off by inhaled allergens such as dust mites, mold, pollen, and pet dander.

People think of seasonal allergies as a runny nose, but your airway starts at your nose. So it’s a chain reaction where that runny nose will cause the asthma to act up and the airway to become inflamed.

For those with allergy induced asthma, it’s critical to manage exposure to allergens that may trigger attacks.

For patient with allergic asthma, tests can be performed to see what they’re specifically allergic to. This can be done with a skin test, where a small amount of allergen is placed on top or slightly below the skin with a needle. Your provider then look for an immediate reaction, usually a rash resembling a mosquito bite. A blood test can also be done to look for allergen-specific antibodies in the bloodstream.

It’s recommend those sensitive to seasonal allergies limit their time outdoors on days when there are high allergen counts. These daily counts can be found online through the National Allergy Bureau, part of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

There are several simple steps that someone with allergic asthma can take to control their symptoms. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep home and car windows shut during peak allergy times.
  • Use an in-home air filtration system.
  • Protective bedding covers can keep dust mites out of pillows and mattresses.
  • Limit cats and dogs to certain rooms in the home, and keep them out of the bedroom.
  • Bathing pets regularly reduces allergen counts, and frequent vacuuming can help control dander.

In addition, some patients have found these tips helpful as well:

  • Take a hot showers after you’ve been outside and exposed to pollen.
  • Only use fragrance-free laundry detergents.
  • When cleaning, wear a mask.
  • Keeps a lint roller with you to get pet dander off your clothing

Need help with asthma symptoms? 

Call one of our primary care clinics located in Watertown, Ixonia, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills and Waterloo.  Y