Asthma and Allergy

The symptoms you may feel during an asthma attack are due to the inflammation of the lungs and airways. This inflammation causes the simple act of breathing to become painful.

Not only do the airways become tighter and narrower, the walls of those airways release extra mucus, adding additional barriers to breathing. The body responds to this excess mucus by coughing, in attempts to expel it rapidly.

Currently, there is no explanation of why asthma occurs or what triggers your lungs to be so sensitive.

Allergy Can Trigger Asthmatic Reactions

There are many irritants that can trigger an asthmatic reaction. These are the most common:

  • Airborne Allergens (pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust)
  • Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Viral infections of the respiratory system
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pollution
  • Strong odors (paint, house cleaners, etc)
  • Exercise (Note: asthmatic people can and should exercise, with care, when they are feeling well. Ask your doctor about exercise and asthma).
  • Drug sensitivity (for example, to aspirin)
  • Stress and emotional anxiety
  • Pollen season (Airborne pollens in the air during periods of high allergy levels can cause an asthmatic reaction)

The Allergy Index and Its Use for Asthma Sufferers

But how can allergens cause asthma? Is asthma an allergy? Like many other asthma triggers, airborne allergens affect the respiratory system. They can initiate an allergic reaction that can, in turn, trigger the asthma symptoms. In this regard, the same triggers for some allergies can be important to asthma sufferers (like weather forecasts, allergy forecasts, and allergy counts).

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