What is allergic asthma?
Allergic asthma is asthma caused by an allergic reaction. It’s also known as allergy-induced asthma. You may have allergic asthma if you have trouble breathing during allergy season.
People with allergic asthma usually start feeling symptoms after inhaling an allergen such as pollen. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that more than half of people with asthma have allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is treatable in most cases.
What are the causes of allergic asthma?
You develop allergies when your immune system overreacts to the presence of a harmless substance called an allergen. Some people may develop breathing problems from inhaling allergens. This is known as allergic asthma. It occurs when the airways swell as part of an allergic reaction.
In general, inhaled allergens cause allergic asthma. Some allergens that can cause this condition include:
- pet dander
- dust mites
- tobacco smoke
- air pollution
- strong odors, including scented lotions and perfumes
- chemical fumes
Less common allergens that can cause an asthmatic reaction include:
- tree nuts
Even though an asthmatic reaction to these allergens is less common, they may cause a more serious reaction.
What are the symptoms of allergic asthma?
Allergic asthma and regular asthma have the same symptoms. They include:
- chest tightness
- rapid breathing
- shortness of breath
If you have hay fever or skin allergies, you might also experience:
- itchy skin
- flaky skin
- runny nose
- itchy eyes
- watery eyes
If you swallowed the allergen, these symptoms might be present as well:
- swollen face or tongue
- tingly mouth
- swollen mouth, throat, or lips
- anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
How is allergic asthma diagnosed?
A skin prick test is the common way to check for allergies. Your doctor will poke your skin with a needle containing a small amount of an allergen. After 20 minutes, your doctor will check your skin for red bumps. These bumps are a sign of an allergic reaction.
Additional tests that can check whether you have asthma along with your allergies include:
- spirometry: measures the amount of air you inhale and exhale, and looks for narrowing in the bronchial tubes of your lungs
- peak flow:a simple test of lung function, this measures air pressure as you breathe out
- lung function: checks whether your breathing improves after you use an asthma medication called a bronchodilator (if this medication improves your breathing, you probably have asthma)
What are the treatments for allergic asthma?
Treating allergic asthma can involve treating the allergy, the asthma, or both.
To treat your asthma, your doctor may prescribe inhaled anti-inflammatory medication or oral medications that help block the allergic response. A fast-acting relief inhaler, such as albuterol (ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA, Ventolin HFA) is best used to treat asthma symptoms when they occur and may be the only medication needed if you have intermittent symptoms. If you have mild persistent asthma symptoms, inhalers may be prescribed for daily usage. Examples of these include Pulmicort, Asmanex, and Serevent.
If your asthma symptoms are more severe, an oral medication like Singulair or Accolate is often taken in addition to the inhalers.
Allergy treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. You may need an antihistamine to deal with classic allergy symptoms such as itching. You might also need allergy shots if your symptoms are more severe.
What are the potential complications of allergic asthma?
Allergic asthma can have serious complications. One complication is anaphylaxis. This type of severe allergic reaction may have symptoms such as:
- mouth or facial swelling
- difficulty swallowing
- nasal congestion
- slurred speech
Untreated anaphylaxis can be life-threatening. It may cause problems such as an abnormal heart rate, weakness, low blood pressure, rapid pulse, cardiac arrest, and pulmonary arrest.
How can I prevent allergic asthma?
Allergic asthma attacks aren’t always preventable. However, you may be able to make them less frequent by changing your environment.
Ayurveda for Asthma: 5 Effective Home Remedies to Control Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma is a chronic lung disorder which is caused due to inflammation in the airways. The airways become narrower and are filled with mucus, blocking the airflow which then results in short gasping breaths, recurring periods of wheezing, coughing and chest tightness. If an asthma attack is not controlled in time, it can leave a person breathless. An attack could be triggered due to allergic reactions to irritants, or some other triggers or stimuli like dust, smoke, fumes or chemical allergens like pollen, grass. According to ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ by Dr. Vasant Lad, “The underlying cause of all asthmatic conditions is increased Kapha dosha in stomach. From there it moves into the lungs , trachea and bronchi. The increased kapha blocks the natural flow of air, creating spasm in the bronchial tree and resulting in asthma and wheezing.” Kapha is one of the three energies or doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) responsible for maintaining balance of overall health. Ayurvedic treatments for asthma focus on wiping out the Kapha lodged in the lungs .Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Ayurvedic Expert and Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath, tells us, “Herbal remedies taken on a regular basis in the long run. Herbs like vasa, pushkarmula and yastimadhu have been known to control the symptoms of asthma”
Here are some Ayurvedic home remedies that could help in reducing the symptoms of asthma and controlling the frequency of asthma attacks.
1.Ginger and Garlic Cloves:
Ginger is one of the most trusted herb when it comes to deal with inflammation. Half cup of ginger tea mixed with 2-3 crushed garlic cloves could prove to be an effective remedy to release the kapha accumulation in the airways, thereby preventing asthmatic attacks.
2.Ginger and Turmeric Powder
You can also make yourself a quick ginger and turmeric tea too. Boil a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a glass of milk and add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. If taken twice a day, this Ayurvedic remedy could reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.
3. Cinnamon and Honey
“Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4th teaspoon trikatu into a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes and add 1 teaspoon of honey before drinking,” suggests Dr. Vasant Lad in his book on Ayurvedic remedies. Take this twice a day for maximum benefits.
4. Licorice and Ginger
Licorice also known as mulethi in Hindi is also loaded with anti- inflammatory properties. Dr. Lad in his book also suggests drinking a tea made with half teaspoon licorice and half teaspoon of ginger for managing asthma and it’s symptoms. 5. Bay leaf
Half teaspoon of bay leaf and 1/4th teaspoon of pippali mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey taken two to three times a day may also help prevent chronic symptoms of asthma.