Allergic and Environmental Asthma
Symptoms of asthma can worsen if you are exposed to allergens. Asthma is a clinical syndrome, wherein the patient experiences increased bronchial reactivity, breathlessness, chest tightness, inflammation of the airway, and episodic removable airway obstruction when exposed to allergens. The condition is often the result of complex interactions among inflammatory cells, airway epithelium, and nervous system.
Causes of Asthma
Environmental asthma occurs when you are exposed to environmental factors, such as dust and pollen, which raise the risk of asthma symptoms.
Exposure to allergens that cause allergies can make you sneeze and sniffle. Not only this, allergens can cause you cold-like symptoms, runny nose, skin rashes, and itchy eyes and trigger serious asthma attacks. Some allergic reactions are so severe that they are potentially life-threatening, such as anaphylaxis.
Risk factors for asthma include:
- Respiratory disease
- Exposure to aeroallergens
- Cigarette smoke
- Presence of allergen-specific immunoglobulin E
- Family history of allergic disease
- Environment exposure
Aeroallergens that can trigger asthma include dust mites, mold spores, seasonal pollen, animal allergens, and even certain foods.
Exposure to odor, smoke, chemicals, cold air, and medications can trigger nonallergic asthma reactions. Some people may also experience the symptoms due to hormonal changes, exercise, and sodium bisulfite food additives. Drinks with sulfur dioxide can aggravate an asthma reaction.
Symptoms of asthma include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Wheezing or a hoarse whistling sound when exhaling
- Shortness of breath
- Constriction of bronchial tubes
- Coughing spells not related to cold
In the United States, there is a significant rise in the incidence of asthma during October-November, when windows and doors remain closed to prevent cold air from seeping in. during this time, people are exposed to allergens, such as roaches, dust, mold spores, and pets (animal salvia and dander are asthma triggers for some people).
Asthma cannot be cured; however, you can manage its symptoms and avoid the triggers. Since you have no control over the weather, you can take steps to get rid of allergens within your home to avoid triggers for asthma flare-ups.
- Keep your bedding, mattresses, pillow covers, and upholstery clean
- Frequently vacuum carpets and furniture
- Avoid stuffed toys or choose those that are washable
- Dust your home with a damp cloth
- Vacuum carpets, rugs, and fabric-covered furniture
- Avoid humidifiers to prevent dust mite infestation from moist air
- Keep doors, windows closed during pollen season
It is important to undergo tests for allergy to determine the environmental allergens that aggravate your problem. Removing or avoiding the allergens that cause you asthma symptoms will help improve your condition and quality of life.