Categories: Disease A-Z

What is Allergy Asthma ? – A-Z Disease

Definition

What is allergic asthma?

Allergic asthma is a symptom of asthma that is triggered or appears as an allergic reaction. Also called allergy-induced asthma.

People with this type of asthma usually begin to feel symptoms after breathing air containing allergens (allergens). For example cigarette smoke, air pollution, pollen, dust, animal dander, and many more.

When you are exposed to allergens, the body's immune system will produce a compound called immunoglobulin E (IgE) to fight substances that are actually harmless. Excessive production of IgE in the body can cause the airways to become inflamed and swollen. As a result, you will experience a number of symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath typical of asthma.

It is important for asthmatics to know what types of allergens they have. In addition to facilitating treatment, this can also help prevent recurrence of asthma symptoms.

How common is this condition?

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma. It is estimated that more than half of asthma sufferers worldwide have allergies.

Although including common conditions, this type of asthma should not be underestimated. Without proper treatment, a person can experience a severe allergic reaction. In the medical world this condition is called anaphylactic shock.

If you have experienced anaphylactic shock, the sufferer should immediately get medical treatment at the nearest hospital. Being late for medical help can be fatal and endanger the sufferer's body.

You can prevent this condition by avoiding risk factors. Please consult a doctor for more information.

The symptoms

What are the symptoms of allergic asthma?

Allergic asthma symptoms are the same as general asthma symptoms. The intensity of symptoms felt can also vary in each person, from mild to severe. Depends on how well the body's immune system functions for each person.

Here are some symptoms of allergic asthma that need to be aware of:

  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath

In certain cases, allergic asthma symptoms are also often accompanied by a number of allergic reactions such as:

  • Itchy skin
  • Reddish rashes appear on the skin
  • Peeled skin
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Mouth feels itchy
  • Itching of the nose and throat
  • Swelling of the mouth, throat, or lips

When to see a doctor?

If you cannot treat allergies by using over-the-counter medicines that are sold at pharmacies, see a doctor immediately.

You should also visit a doctor if symptoms interfere with your quality of life, reduce productivity at work, school, or disturb your sleep.

Remember, only you know how your body works. So, don't hesitate to see a doctor every time you experience unusual symptoms.

Cause

What causes allergic asthma?

Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to substances that are actually harmless. This substance is called allergen. When allergens are inhaled, your body will automatically produce IgE antibodies.

These antibodies then release chemicals such as histamine which cause swelling and inflammation in the body. As a result, you will experience a number of reactions including nasal congestion, runny eyes, sneezing, until the skin feels itchy.

For some people, this reaction can also affect the lungs and airways. The muscles around your airways tighten. On the other hand, your airways are inflamed and filled with thick mucus. You will also find it more difficult to breathe freely.

Your breath may feel shallower, faster, and irregular. Your chest feels very painful and you will experience coughing and wheezing.

Risk factor

What are the risk factors for allergic asthma?

Only inhaled allergens can cause allergic asthma. Some allergens that can cause this condition are:

  • Pollen from flowers, trees, grass or weeds in the wind.
  • Mushroom
  • Animal fur
  • Mite
  • Dust
  • Cockroach poop

In addition to the allergens mentioned above, this type of asthma can also be triggered from irritants such as:

  • Smoke from cigarettes, fireplaces, candles, incense, fireworks, or burning trash /
  • Air pollution.
  • Chemicals in household products or cosmetics that are irritant and are inadvertently inhaled.
  • Perfume or other fragrance products.

In some cases, this type of asthma can also be triggered due to certain foods. This condition is usually experienced by asthmatics who also have a history of food allergies.

Some types of foods that most often trigger allergies include milk, dairy products, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, and so forth. However, asthma reactions to allergens consumed are not very common.

Diagnosis

How do you diagnose allergic asthma?

Only doctors can diagnose allergic asthma. The first thing a doctor will do is ask about your medical history and family.

While asking about your medical history, your doctor will also do a physical examination. The doctor will also ask you to undergo certain tests to find out which substances cause a person to have an allergic reaction.

The two most common and recommended tests for diagnosing this condition are:

Skin test

This test is done by injecting substances that can cause symptoms on the skin. Usually the substance is given to the forearm, upper arm, or back. After that, the doctor will closely monitor the reaction at the injection site.

The test results will be seen in about 15-30 minutes. If there is no swelling or redness on the skin, it means you do not have an allergy to the allergen.

Another form of allergic skin test is the patch test. This test is done by attaching a patch (adhesive) containing allergens to the skin for 24 hours. If needed, the patch can also be applied for up to 48 hours.

Blood test

In the case of a severe reaction, a blood test can be done to diagnose the cause of the asthma you have. Your doctor will take a blood sample and will test it in a laboratory to check whether there are antibodies in your body that fight certain allergens.

If needed, the doctor can also do additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. Some of them are like:

  • Spirometry This test is done to measure the capacity of the lungs. In addition to diagnosing asthma, spirometry can also help monitor the development of other diseases related to lung function. For example, COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Peak flow. This test serves to measure the pressure of the air when you breathe. Actually this test can be done at home with a handheld device called a peak flow meter. But in order to get maximum results, this test can be done at the hospital.
  • Lung function. This examination can be done with the help of imaging tests, such as chest X-ray and CT scan. The goal is to see if your breathing progresses after taking asthma medication regularly.

Treatment

How to treat allergic asthma?

There are 3 types of treatment that can be used to treat allergic asthma. Some work with your body's reaction to allergens, some are in the form of drugs that work by treating asthma and the lungs. The first type can be used for long-term care and consumed every day. The other two types can be used as emergency treatment.

Allergy Medication

Allergy treatment itself is in principle adjusted to the severity of symptoms complained of by the patient. In general, the following drug options can be used to relieve allergic symptoms.

  • Antihistamines. This treatment can reduce the allergic response of the immune system to allergens. Cetirizine, Loratadine, and Fexofenadine are some examples of antihistamine drugs that can be taken to relieve allergic symptoms.
  • Nose spray. Spray medicine (nasal spray) used for treatment in the nose and sinuses, for example due to nasal congestion. Usually this drug contains decongestants which help reduce swelling of the blood vessels in the nose to open the airway. Unfortunately this drug can not be used in the long term. Excessive use can actually worsen your condition.
  • Eye drops. Allergies can cause watery, itchy, and dry eyes. To relieve it, you can use eye drops that are sold in drug stores or supermarkets without having to redeem a doctor's prescription. Make sure you use eye drops according to the rules of use listed on the packaging label.
  • Oral corticosteroids. If antihistamines and decongestants are not able to relieve the symptoms of allergies that you are experiencing, try to use oral corticosteroid drugs. This drug is effective in relieving allergy symptoms due to inflammation and swelling. Prednisolone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone are some examples of oral corticosteroid drugs.
  • Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy can gradually reduce your body's immune response. To do this, an immunologist will inject you with a small amount of allergen over a period of time. After undergoing several therapies, your immune system will no longer react to these allergens specifically.

Most of the allergy medications above can be purchased without a doctor's prescription. However, make sure you consult your doctor before using these medicines. This is intended to avoid serious side effects if used for a long time. Also, stop using it immediately if you experience a number of unusual symptoms.

Asthma Treatment

Asthma cannot be cured. Existing treatment aims to control symptoms and prevent recurrence. When allergic asthma recurs, here are a selection of medicines that you can use to relieve your symptoms.

  • Short-acting beta agonists inhalers. This drug acts quickly to open the airways making it easier for someone to breathe more easily. This type of medication can be used via a handheld inhaler or a nebulizer. Examples of these types of drugs are albuterol, levalbuterol, pirbuterol, and bitolterol.
  • Oral or injectable corticosteroids. This drug can relieve inflammation in the airways. Predisone and methylpredisolone is a type of corticosteroid drug that can be used to relieve shortness of breath due to asthma.
  • Ipratropium. This medication works like a bronchodilator which will quickly relax your airways when an asthma attack recurs. As a result, you can breathe more easily.
  • Leukotriene modifier. This drug can relieve swelling while simultaneously relaxing the tense airways. That way someone will be easier to breathe.

Complications

What are the complications that might occur due to allergic asthma?

Allergy asthma must be treated quickly and precisely. If not, this condition can cause serious problems. One of them is anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction and occurs suddenly when you are exposed to an allergen. This reaction is dangerous and can threaten the lives of sufferers.

Common symptoms of anaphylactic shock are:

  • Reactions to the skin such as itching, skin redness, and a sensation of heat
  • Swelling of the mouth or face
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Throat like a lump
  • The heart beats fast
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Restless
  • Loss of consciousness (fainting)

If you experience a number of symptoms above, immediately go to the nearest emergency room. The more quickly get medical help, the treatment will be easier.

Prevention

How to prevent allergic asthma?

There are a number of ways you can do to prevent allergic asthma attacks. Some of them are like:

  • Clean the bed regularly because the mattress, pillows. bolster to blanket is a favorite hiding place for mites.
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter (high efficiency particulate water) to remove all small air pollutants, ranging from mites, dust, pollen, and pet dander in your home.
  • When in an air-conditioned room, use a humidifier to help add moisture to the air.
  • Avoid sleeping with pets, whether it's dogs or cats.
  • Use a mask when you want to play with pets or drive.
  • Diligent cleaning the house, especially in the kitchen and bathroom area to avoid breeding cockroaches.
  • Frequently check lung function using a device called a peak flow meter.
  • Change your diet to be healthier. Avoid eating fried foods and high fat. Expand to consume fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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