asthma Archives - Lifelab Testing

Can Allergy Testing Reduce Asthma Symptoms?

If you’re not familiar with allergies, or asthma, then you might not be aware that there is a small connection between the two. Depending on your viewpoint, this may be good or bad news. Regardless, allergy testing can help asthma sufferers find relief from their chronic symptoms. 

Asthmas link with Allergies

In many cases, an allergy can actually be what causes asthma to develop. For example, if you’re allergic to dust, your body sees the dust particles entering unannounced as an enemy to destroy. This brings about rashes and other kinds of reactions, including lung issues such as coughing and wheezing. All these symptoms are your bodies way of dealing with the perceived threat. 

This formation of allergy-related asthmatic symptoms is named “allergic asthma”. This means the allergic reaction triggers the onset of asthma. From there, the allergen can trigger further asthma attacks.

How can allergy testing help my asthma?

Allergy testing can be quite helpful for those living with allergies. Your asthmatic symptoms can improve (or even dissipate) with proper identification and avoidance of the triggers. Once the body is no longer fighting off allergens as if it were a virus, the symptoms are no longer a problem.

Despite allergies and asthma being treated as separate conditions, there is evidence to suggest that treating one can help alleviate symptoms of the other. Allergic asthma occurs because the body is fighting off the allergen. The lungs and airways then suffer to the point of triggering the asthmatic symptoms. When you identify and avoid the allergen, the lungs and related symptoms are no longer triggered the same way.

Treating an allergy isn’t necessarily a cure for asthma though, as it can be triggered by issues other than an allergy (sometimes asthmatics don’t even have allergies). Still, there is research suggesting that treating allergies can help improve to alleviate asthmatic symptoms. Thus, improving the overall quality of life on both fronts.

Allergies and Asthma aren’t always found together

Some Asthmatics experience allergic asthma, but it isn’t always the case. Approximately 40% of asthmatics in the US don’t experience allergic asthma. It’s often symptoms like rashes or runny eyes when it comes to mild and moderate allergies. Anyone with a history of allergic asthma or who experienced hay fever as a child is more likely to deal with asthmatic reactions later in life.

Neither asthma nor allergies are fun to deal with. But understanding the connection between them and understanding how to deal with any symptoms and their causes can help you make the most out of this less-than-ideal situation. This is excellent news for those who regularly deal with asthma attacks. 

Asthma & Allergens That Cause It

Asthma is a common condition that causes respiratory distress, such as coughing, wheezing and acute difficulty in breathing. Whether the condition exists due to genetic or environmental factors, the symptoms are very often difficult to tell apart and even if allergens aren’t the direct cause, they can certainly exacerbate the problem.

There are some distinct differences to watch out for, when trying to differentiate the two:

An allergic reaction will manifest in the following symptoms:

❏ Sneezing
❏ Excess mucus production
❏ Scratchiness in the throat
❏ Hives and/or rashes
❏ Itchy and watery eyes

Whereas, with asthma (a respiratory condition), the symptoms are quite different:

❏ Prolonged coughing at night or first thing in the morning
❏ Tightness of the chest
❏ Wheezing
❏ An ability to catch breath

Allergy Induced Asthma 

Congenital asthma is a long-term condition that can usually only be treated by Salbutamol and/or corticosteroids as needed, which means that aside from recognising the symptoms and administering inhalers as necessary, there’s not a lot that can be done to prevent it.

What can be done however, is to identify any allergens that might trigger an attack or make the problem worse. This is where a blood test can be very useful. For just £75, you can be screened for a wide range of potential triggers and minimise the chance of any unnecessary asthma attacks.

Simply visit our website and take the few simple steps necessary to provide us with a small sample of your blood and usually within 3-5 working days, you’ll know a lot more about what your body likes and what it doesn’t do so well with.

Useful to Many

Around 5 million people in the UK suffer with asthma and of those, over 60% have a form of the condition that is worsened and compounded by food based and airborne allergens. This means that over 3 million people could potentially benefit from better control of diet and reduced exposure to any potential allergic triggers.

Treating Allergy Induced Asthma 

In addition to standard medications you would get from your GP, like Ventolin inhalers that treat asthma itself, there are various other treatments specifically designed to help with symptoms that point towards allergy induced asthma.

They include:

Allergy shots, which are used a little bit like a vaccine, as each shot administers a small amount of the allergen into the body to allow it to slowly build a tolerance to it. Also called immunotherapy, it is usually given over a period of around 3 years and it is administered by injection, hence the name.

Anti-Immunoglobulin E (usually referred to as IgE for ease) Immunotherapy focuses on the allergic reaction itself and is typically only suitable for those with moderately acute asthma. It is not given initially, as it is usually reserved for when other treatment has had no effect.

Montelukast is another asthma medication that can be used to combat the symptoms of allergies and allergy induced asthma. It is normally taken on a daily basis in pill form and it helps to regulate the body’s immune response.

Get Tested Now

If you’re one of the 5 million sufferers of asthma in the UK, you’ll know how unpleasant an attack can be and by getting yourself tested, you’ll identify things that make it worse, allowing you to take the necessary measures to lessen the impact and start enjoying the warmer months of the year like everyone else.