Spring has sprung and so have those nasty springtime allergies. The pollens, the molds; they might be tiny, but they sure can have a huge impact on your health. But, for about 25 million people in the United States that suffer from asthma, spring allergies pose an even larger risk. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 60 percent of all asthma sufferers have something called allergic asthma. Allergies may be a miserable inconvenience for most, but for thousands of people, they can lead to a potentially life-threatening chain reaction.
Allergic Asthma: a Tag-Team Knockout?
So what does allergic asthma even mean? Well basically, it’s when common allergens trigger an asthma attack. Your airways become inflamed, contract, and fill with mucus, making breathing difficult. Whether you have allergic or non-allergic asthma the symptoms are usually the same: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing and sometimes coughing. They can be frightening if you aren’t prepared and severe cases need immediate attention. You can count on your convenient American Family Care for the right care, right now! Along with our primary care services, we are a convenient and affordable alternative to the ER.
In the case of allergic asthma, allergens cause an allergic reaction in your body because your immune system thinks they are harmful. Your immune system goes on the attack, spilling out immunoglobulin E. As luck would have it, too much immunoglobulin E can cause the airways in your lungs to swell, triggering the asthma attack.
The good news is there are tests that will help determine if allergies are the root cause of your asthma. Armed with that information, you can work to avoid your triggers and lessen their impact on your body and your breathing. Two of the most common triggers are repeat offenders on the usual suspects’ list: pollen and mold!
- Pollen (yep, the same stuff that causes seasonal sniffles and sneezes!) is one of the most common allergens, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. It comes from trees, grasses and weeds. Spring is the peak season, so if you notice a sudden onset of asthma attacks, make sure to mention it to your doctor.
- Mold is another troublemaker. It can grow on almost anything when moisture is present. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation says it can be found outdoors and indoors, making it doubly difficult to avoid.
Unfortunately, the list doesn’t end there. Other common allergy triggers include dust mites, pets, even cockroaches. Finding out what triggers your symptoms is the key here. That can be done with a simple test in any of our convenient American Family Care locations. With our help, there’s no reason allergy season has to become asthma season as well.