To pay homage to Asthma and Allergy Month, I thought I would write about Asthma that is caused specifically by allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA: www.AAFA.org) asthma affects more than 20 million Americans (approximately 1 in 15), and over 50% of asthma cases are related to allergies. Combined, more than 60 million Americans suffer from asthma or allergies. That’s a significant number of people who are interested in getting some relief.
What triggers allergic asthma?
There are many things that can trigger your asthma: Mold, dust mites, cockroaches, and pet dander are common examples of year-round allergens. Seasonal allergy triggers also effect many people. Something as simple as visiting a friend who has a pet can lead to an asthma attack, even if the pet is not in the same room when you visit. Working in an environment contaminated with mold is another trigger. Asthma is serious, always see a pulmonologist to get a diagnosis and get treated, shortness of breath can be life threatening.
How can I tell if I have allergic asthma?
Only a doctor can confirm a diagnosis of allergic asthma. This is typically done using a skin or blood test to see if your asthma is triggered by year-round allergens in the air. What Tests are Generally Used to Diagnose Allergies? Allergy tests are not the sole basis for diagnosing or treating an allergy. Health care providers make an allergy diagnosis based on several factors:
• History of your experiences and family history of allergy/asthma
• Physical exam to detect signs of allergy
• Allergy testing for sensitivity to specific allergens Allergy tests help your physician confirm allergies you may have.
When an allergy test pinpoints a reaction to a specific allergen or allergens, your health care provider can use this information to develop “immunotherapy” — allergy shots, specifically for you or your child, if they feel it is appropriate.
On my blog Allergy Comfort Zone I have outlined some steps YOU can take to help alleviate your Allergic Asthma triggers.