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Asthma & Allergy Articles

Allergic Asthma

Allergic asthma or extrinsic asthma is the most common type of asthma of all. When the allergens have the potential to trigger asthma too, this condition is known as allergic asthma. This generally is seen that in most of the cases, kids with childhood asthma have allergic asthma. Allergy is the overreaction of the immune system to an allergen like pollen, dust, pet hairs, etc. In allergic asthma, the airways become inflamed and are extra sensitive towards the allergen due to the involvement of the immune system that overreacts to get rid of the allergen that entered into the body. This leads to overloading of the thick mucus. The common causes of allergic asthma happen after the allergen has already gotten into the body through the nose and settled in lungs. The allergens are:
  • Pollen
  • Spores
  • Animal hairs, skin flakes, feathers, or saliva
  • Dust
  • Insects
  • Smoke from tobacco (generally passive smoking), candles, fireworks, incense
  • Cold air
  • Exercise in cold
  • Shellac, plastics, rubber, latex, insulation, enzymes in detergents, dyes, foam, carpeting, etc.
  • Fungal amylase in wheat flour in bakers
  • Grains, green coffee beans, papain(an extract of papaya that may trigger a latex allergy)
  • Metals like platinum, nickel, chromium, sulphate, toxic substances and soldering fumes in the laboratory
The symptoms for the allergic asthma are exactly the same as classical asthma such as, coughing, Dyspnoea, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, breathing difficulty and nasal congestion. Allergic asthma needs to be confirmed by different tests that doctor prescribes –
  • Lung(pulmonary) function test which includes Spirometry and Peak flow measurement.
  • Skin Prick Test
  • Blood test – This is a specific IgE test as the immune system of the patient also gets involved. As each interleukin has a different role in allergy asthma, IL-4 and IL-13 are signals to make an antibody IgE which is responsible for the symptoms like wheezing, coughing, itching and running of the nose.

The treatment for allergic asthma is very straightforward. It can be done simply by avoiding the allergens that trigger asthma, as well as allergies and asthma, can be treated. The medication needed for the treatment of the disease are as follows –

  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene agonist or Long-acting beta-adrenergic agonist
  • IgE blockers

The steps needed to be followed to prevent allergic asthma by avoiding breathing of the allergenare –

  1. Staying inside the house when pollen content is high in the outside environment
  2. The affected person can even switch on the air condition in order to regulate the humidity or the temperature
  3. Choosing a proper air filter
  4. Maintaining a clean and dry environment around the person affected with asthma or prone to asthma
  5. Choosing a suitable workplace
  6. Using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter mask