It may be difficult to know whether you are suffering from allergies or asthma attacks triggered by allergies. In total, about 65 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies. Specific individuals may suffer from one or both of these illnesses.
Allergic asthma is a breathing condition in which the airways become cramped when exposed to an allergen. Allergies to pollen, dander, and mold spores are all too common. This type of asthma is quite common in both children and adults. Asthma and allergies can make it tough to breathe. Knowing the difference between the two and how to treat the symptoms can help you breathe easier. (Cleveland Clinic, 2020)
What Are the Different Types of Asthma Symptoms?
For some, asthma is a minor irritation. It can cause issues that affect daily activities. However, in some cases, it may induce a fatal asthma attack.
Asthma symptoms can be intermittent, only present during certain times of the day, or they can be constant. Even though it is incurable, the symptoms can be managed. To adapt your treatment to your changing asthma symptoms, you must work closely with your doctor.
Some of the common symptoms and indicators of asthma include the following:
- Having a hard time breathing
- A confining of the chest or a sharp pain
- Wheezing during the last part of a child’s breath
- Shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing can make it hard to sleep
- When a respiratory virus, like the common cold or the flu, causes you to cough or wheeze more, it can worsen
(Mayo Clinic, 2022)
Common Triggers for Asthma
Asthma patients have inflamed airways that react to stimuli called ‘triggers.’ asthma triggers differ from person to person. Some people have a strong reaction to a few items, while others have a solid response to many items.
Allergies (Allergic Asthma)
Allergens may cause asthma. Inhaling an allergen may trigger asthma symptoms. Avoid or limit exposure to identified allergens to reduce or prevent asthma attacks.
Pollutants In the Air and Weather
Pollutants in the air can cause an asthma attack. Cigarette smoke, air pollution, wood fires, charcoal grills, and other sources of smoke can irritate sensitive airways. A dry breeze, chilly air, or sudden changes can trigger an Asthma attack. Thunderstorm asthma develops when there is a thunderstorm.
Strenuous exercise and other activities may aggravate asthma. Exercise, particularly in cold weather, can exacerbate asthma. After a few minutes of sustained activity, symptoms may appear.
Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example, can trigger asthma attacks. Beta-blockers have the potential to aggravate asthma symptoms.
For asthma patients, it is critical to keep track of the known causes or triggers. Because symptoms do not always appear immediately after exposure, they are often challenging to locate. Asthma attacks can be delayed based on the type of trigger and how sensitive the person is to it. (AAFA, 2019)
How Asthma Affects Children
Asthma in children is similar to adult asthma, but the challenges are different.
In pediatric asthma, particular triggers like pollen inhalation or catching a cold or other respiratory infection irritates the lungs and airways. Childhood asthma can create symptoms that make it challenging to play, sleep, and go to school.
Childhood asthma is incurable, and symptoms may last into adulthood. Unmanaged asthma in some kids can lead to deadly attacks. With the right therapy, you and your child can manage symptoms and protect your child’s developing lungs.
Allergies And Asthma Attacks Can Be Linked To Each Other
Often, allergies and asthma occur concurrently. The same allergens that produce allergic rhinitis symptoms, such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander, can also provoke asthma symptoms. In certain individuals, skin or food allergies might trigger asthma symptoms. This is known as allergic asthma or asthma caused by allergies. Only a physician can confirm an allergic asthma diagnosis. This is often accomplished through a skin or blood test. These tests will help identify whether your asthma is triggered by seasonal or year-round allergens.
Asthma symptoms emerge when the lungs airways get blocked (like coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing). The body retains this memory. As soon as an allergen contacts with the body, the same thing happens.
Recognizing the symptoms is vital to get help at the right time, before symptoms worsen or become life threatening. Avoiding or limiting known environmental triggers and taking medications to control symptoms are two ways to treat allergic asthma. Consulting your doctor and seeking proper help is the best way to get on the right course of treatment. (AAFA, 2015)
Cleveland Clinic. “Allergic Asthma: Causes, Symptoms, Tests & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, 2020,
Mayo Clinic. “Asthma.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Mar. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/symptoms-causes/syc-20369653.
AAFA. “AAFA.” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Oct. 2019, www.aafa.org/asthma-triggers-causes/.
AAFA. “AAFA.” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, September 2015, www.aafa.org/allergic-asthma/.