Is your asthma non-allergic?
Most asthma is linked to allergies. The presentation of allergic and non-allergic asthma can be same but the triggers are different. Here are some ways to identify if your asthma is allergic or non-allergic.
What is an allergy?
Allergies are a result of immune system. Typically, immune system helps us to protect from germs such as bacteria and viruses. However, in allergy, immune system starts defending our body against a harmless substance -- such as cat dander or dust mites -- that immune system recognizes to be foreign. The body produces IgE antibodies when exposed to an allergy trigger causing cascade of events leading to swelling, runny nose, sneezing, cough, wheezing, etc.
Allergic Asthma Triggers
Allergic asthma, or allergy-induced asthma, is the most common form of asthma. It means that symptoms are most often triggered by inhaling allergens. An allergen is a typically harmless substance such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen or mold. However, our immune system recognizes it to be foreign. Hence it triggers the immune system causing series of reactions leading to symptoms. In people with allergic asthma, the muscles around their airways begin to narrow. The airways also become inflamed and get filled with mucus. This results in coughing, wheezing and other asthma symptoms.
Non - Allergic Asthma Triggers
Allergies is not the only way that triggers asthma. There are other triggers which could be the sole reason, or occur with allergic asthma. For example, asthma symptoms may also be triggered by viral or bacterial upper airway infections, cold air, exercise or by comorbid conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is imperative to control both allergic as well as non- allergic causes for good asthma control. It is essential to know if your asthma is allergic to take better control of your condition. Given the relationship between allergies and asthma, a board- certified allergist is the most qualified physician to diagnose your symptoms and help you manage your asthma better. Our other related blogs on Asthma and Allergy will help you to understand how we, The Allergy Group, can help manage your asthma better.