Allergies are an important cause of asthma. In infants and toddlers infections may also be an important cause of asthma flare ups. In preschoolers, school age children and teenagers as well as young adults allergies may play a role in causing or aggravating asthma symptoms. In older adults although allergies are less likely but they still play a significant role in many patients.
Most people think allergies are something that makes you sneeze or cause itchy runny nose and eyes. They think of allergies if they have symptoms during a certain season. But what most people do not realize that you should also suspect allergies if you have constant stuffy nose, post nasal drip, sniffling, sinus pressure along with asthma. Even if you do not have hay fever symptoms to suggest you have allergies, your asthma could still be due to allergies. Even if you do not notice worsening of your asthma symptoms with exposure to cats or dogs or dusting and vacuuming your house, you may still be allergic to cats, dogs or dust mites. In patients with chronic asthma and who are allergic to multiple things a clearly noticeable flareup in asthma is not seen when they come in contact with what they are allergic to.
Why is it important to know if you have allergic asthma ? Identification of an allergen can result in appropriate actions being taken such as removal of feather pillow/ comforter or pets or old carpet. covering the mattress and pillow with dust proof cover, removing stuffed toys and staying in air conditioning are some of the things one can do.
Even if you can not find a connection in asthma and allergies a thorough evaluation can be helpful. Management of sinus infection and gastro-esophageal reflux can make asthma treatment easier in an individual information.