When Breathing Is Hard: Allergic Asthma

Posted on: 24 October 2017

Unless you have been diagnosed with asthma, most people just assume it's some kind of breathing problem but don't really understand much beyond that. If you or someone you love has been recently diagnosed with this potentially life-threatening condition, here is what you should know.

Just How Prevalent Is Asthma?

According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, every 1 in 12 Americans has asthma, or a whopping 25,000,000. And unfortunately, an average of nine people die from an asthma attack every day in the United States alone. That's why it's so important to receive regular medical care.

Who Does Asthma Affect Most?

Statistics show that children have a higher incidence of asthma than adults. 1 out of 10 children have asthma. Interestingly, women are more like than men to have asthma, but boys are more likely than girls to be afflicted. Non-Hispanic blacks are the ethnic group with the highest incidence.

Is All Asthma The Same?

No. There are several types of asthma, including exercised-related asthma, occupational asthma, and non-allergic asthma, but allergic asthma caused by allergens is the most common. It's also possible to have a combination of any of these.

What Is Allergic Asthma?

Allergic asthma is when your asthma is triggered by allergens. An overactive immune system responds by producing immunoglobulin E (IgE) to an allergen, which then causes an allergic reaction. In some people, this reaction affects their entire respiratory system, not just the common response of a runny nose and itchy eyes. The immunoglobulin E (IgE) causes the inflammation and swelling in the lungs and airway, constricting the flow of air in and out of the lungs, resulting in wheezing and trouble breathing.

What Are Common Allergens That Trigger An Asthmatic Response?

Cockroaches- Unfortunately, these nasty critters live just about everywhere and are difficult to escape. Their saliva, droppings, and their bodies themselves can all cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people.

Pets- As beloved as most furry friends are to people, they carry a lot of allergens. Their dander, fur, urine, feces, and saliva are all allergens. Cats in particular seem to cause problems in susceptible people. Even when people don't have pets of their own, they can still be exposed to the allergens by other pet owners.

Mold- Molds grow everywhere, both inside and outside. It is impossible to avoid their spores, which are ever-present in the environment.

Dust Mites- These miniscule spider-like creatures are also omnipresent. They feed on shedded, dead human skin cells, living in bedding, clothing, upholstered furniture, the carpeting, and stuffed animals.

Who Is Best Suited To Diagnose And Treat Asthma?

An allergist who specializes in asthma is the best medical professional to care for you.