Do Allergies Cause Asthma?


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Imagine you can’t stop coughing.  That your eyes are beginning to water and your chest is tightening.  This tightening then causes you to wheeze when you breathe which only makes the coughing worse.  Such a scenario will sound similar to many people and yet not necessarily for the same reason.  To some the description fits perfectly their experience of being an asthmatic, whereas to others the symptoms will sound very like those endured when having an allergic reaction.  To an unfortunate few they will recognise them as the outcome of suffering from both asthma and allergies.  This is because in certain ways both ailments are inter-related.

The relationship between allergies and asthma is a tricky one to deduce.  Often those that experience from one will experience the other, however this is not to state that all allergy sufferers will show the tell tale signs of being asthmatic and vice versa.  What is key in their linked relationship is what causes them.  Both allergies and asthma have the following triggers in common:

  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • House dust
  • Mold

These allergens are mutually problematic to the allergy and asthma victim.  Furthermore one may act as a trigger upon the other, specifically the body’s allergic reaction to an inhaled allergen causing the onset of asthma.  The body’s response to the allergen is to instigate the release of histamine into its system and this in turn can cause reactions that affect the eyes, the throat and the lungs.  Coughing and wheezing are a common symptom for allergy sufferers, and they are also the prime cause for triggering asthma attacks.  In this way the root of the allergy can often be the cause of the asthma, therefore in taking steps to prevent either it is wise to first discover what the body is sensitive too.

If your Doctor has not yet suggested it, it could be beneficial for an asthmatic to be tested for allergies.  Having prior knowledge of any allergens that could cause an asthma attack means that measures can be taken to avoid or reduce the changes of coming into contact with such an irritant.

Read more in the Allergies Information Guide »