Patients in Crystal Lake ask, “How can I get help from specialists for breathing problems caused by allergies?”
Allergies do more than make your skin itch and turn red; the triggers responsible for common skin conditions are also responsible for respiratory problems among many allergy sufferers. The most common type of asthma is caused by allergies. A whopping 90 percent of pediatric asthmatics also suffer from allergies, while around 50 percent of adults have both allergies and asthma.
The airway narrowing, swelling, and extra mucus caused by asthma makes it difficult to breathe. Asthmatics may also experience:
- Tightness in the chest
- Problems sleeping due to shortness of breath
All allergy symptoms are the result of your immune system overreacting to a substance that is wrongly perceived as harmful. As your immune system tries to ward off this perceived harmful invader, chemicals are released that can make your face itch, or can irritate your eyes and nose.
With allergic asthma, your immune system’s response to an allergen is tightening and inflammation of the airways in your lungs, which can make breathing difficult.
Some of the most common allergens associated with asthmatic symptoms include:
- Tree, weed, and grass pollens
- Dust mites
- Dander or skin flakes from animals
- Foods, especially peanuts, soy, shellfish, and dairy
Many of these allergens also have the potential to cause problems with breathing as the result of anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic reactions require emergency treatment, and can occur within a few minutes of being exposed to an allergen. Anaphylaxis causes airway obstruction, as well as a drop in blood pressure, rapid pulse, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
Skin, blood, and food challenge tests help the specialists at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois pinpoint the cause of your allergies. Lung function tests such as spirometry may also be used to measure how much air moves in and out of your lungs as you breathe. Such testing can be used to rule out other conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, and other causes of disordered breathing.
With an accurate diagnosis in hand, Drs. Askenazi and Hahn can recommend ways to effectively relieve symptoms and prevent serious complications caused by airway constriction. Allergic asthma requires avoidance of the trigger. For good measure, you should always carry an epinephrine delivery device. You and your loved ones should be trained on how to properly use any emergency relief or rescue medications.
Many treatments are designed with one condition, either allergies or asthma, in mind. Drs. Askenazi and Hahn may prescribe treatments that effectively reduce or eliminate the symptoms of both conditions. These treatments may include drugs that control or interfere with the chemicals released by your immune system during a reaction. Immunotherapy or allergy shots can gradually reduce your response to the allergen by actually exposing your body to it (in small amounts) over time. Your immune system in turn builds up a tolerance to the allergen.
You don’t have to live with a reduced quality of life and the fear of potentially serious complications from allergic asthma and related conditions. The Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois knows how to help breathing problems from allergies in Crystal Lake, thanks to a number of quick-relief and long-term options. Call to (847) 888-8802 to schedule an appointment.Back to Patient Education Page