Allergic asthma is a symptom of asthma that appears an allergic reaction. the sufferer of asthma usually begins to feel symptoms after breathing air containing allergens. Most examples are cigarette smoke, air pollution, pollen, dust, animal dander, and etc.
If you are exposed to allergens, your body’s immune system will generate a compound of immunoglobulin E (IgE) to fight substances that are actually harmless. Overproduction of IgE in the body causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen. As a result, you will experience a number of symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath typical of asthma.
What are the symptoms of allergic asthma?
Allergic asthma symptoms are the same as general asthma symptoms. The intensity of symptoms felt also vary in each person, from mild to severe. Depends on how well the body’s immune system functions for each person.
Here are some symptoms of allergic asthma that need to be aware of:
- Tightness in the chest
- Hard to breathe
In certain cases, allergic asthma symptoms are often accompanied by a number of allergic reactions such as:
- The skin feels itchy
- Appears reddish rash on the skin
- Peeled skin
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Mouth feels itchy
- Itching of the nose and throat
- Swelling of the mouth, throat or lips
What causes allergic asthma?
Allergic will generate when the immune system overreacts to substances that are actually harmless. This substance is called an allergen. While allergens are inhaled, your body as automatically produces IgE antibodies.
The antibodies then release chemicals such as histamine that cause swelling and inflammation in the body. Then you will experience a number of reactions including nasal congestion, runny eyes, sneezing until the skin feels itchy.
For some people, this reaction can also affect the lungs and airways. The muscles around your airways tighten. On the other hand, your airways are inflamed and filled with thick mucus. You will also find it more difficult to breathe freely.
What are the risk factors for allergic asthma?
Only inhaled allergens can cause allergic asthma. Some allergens that can cause this condition are:
- Pollen from flowers, trees, grass or weeds in the wind.
- Animal fur
- Cockroach droppings
In addition to the allergens mentioned above, this type of asthma can also be triggered by irritants such as:
- Smoke from cigarettes, fireplaces, candles, incense, fireworks, or burning trash /
- Air pollution.
- Chemicals in household products or cosmetics that are irritant and
are inadvertently inhaled.
- Perfume or other fragrance products.
In other cases, the type of allergic asthma can be triggered due to certain foods. This condition is usually experienced by a sufferer who also has a history of food allergies.
Many types of foods that most trigger allergies that include milk, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, and so forth. However, asthma reactions to allergens consumed are not very common.
How do you diagnose allergic asthma?
Only doctors can diagnose allergic asthma. The first thing a doctor will do is ask about your medical history and family.
The two most common and recommended tests for diagnosing this condition are:
1. Skin test
This test is done by injecting substances that can cause symptoms on the skin. Usually, the substance is given to the forearm, upper arm, or back. Next, the doctor will monitor the reaction at the injection site.
If on the check-up no swelling or redness on the skin, it means you do not have an allergy to the allergen.
2. Blood test
In the case of a severe reaction, a blood test can be done to diagnose the cause of asthma you have. Your doctor will take your blood for the sample and will test it in a laboratory to check whether there are antibodies in your body that fight certain allergens.
If it’s needed, the doctor will do additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. Some of them are like:
- Spirometry. This test is done to measure the capacity of the lungs. In addition, to diagnose allergic asthma, spirometry can help to monitor the development of other diseases related to lung function. Some example like COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis.
- Peak flow. This test serves to measure the pressure of the air when you breathe. For actually this test will be done at home with a handheld device called a peak flow meter. For more maximum results, this test can be done at the hospital.
- Lung function. This theraphy will be done with the help of imaging tests, such as chest X-ray and CT scan.