Health

Take control of allergy induced asthma

July 12, 2022
8 minute read
Lucy Drennan

Asthma is a common lung condition, causing breathlessness, coughing and a tightening sensation of the chest. It can also be triggered by exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites and animal fur.

There are actions you can take to minimise the impact of allergy induced asthma, from identifying which type of allergy induced asthma you may have, to practical steps in the home to reduce triggers, and extra medications which may ease symptoms.  

Allergy triggers

Many people will have multiple triggers for their asthma and hay fever, including allergies, and they often occur together. An allergic reaction can cause an asthma attack when exposure to the allergen triggers an immune response in the body. That immune response in your body is protecting you from what the body mistakenly determines as a harmful invader. Typical symptoms include a runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, breathlessness, coughing and a tight chest.

Pollen

Different types of pollen allergies such as tree, grass or weed pollen can affect asthma. It is best to be aware of the pollen season so you can reduce your risk of exposure to these as much as possible and help prevent an asthma flare up.

To reduce your risk of hay fever triggering an asthma attack, you can:

Find out more useful tips from the NHS on how to treat hay fever.

Dust mites

Dust mites are microscopic insects that live in dust gathered in our homes, at school or in the workplace. Some people are sensitive to dust mites which causes them symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes or sneezing.

The best solution is to keep on top of the dust gathering in your environment. Although it’s impossible to remove all dust and prevent it from gathering, there are several ways you can reduce dust. For example:

There may be one or two things which make a difference to your asthma, or you may need to try several different things to see a significant difference.

Animal fur

Many people will react within minutes if they have an allergy to animal fur. The only way to determine if it is a true allergy is for your GP to carry out a skin prick test and/or blood test. Being in a different room or outside to the animal you are allergic to doesn’t always prevent an asthma flare-up because the fur can stay on cushions, carpets, furniture and clothes.

To reduce your risk of animal fur triggering your asthma, try:

Allergies to animals can develop at any stage in life and you may be allergic to multiple types of animals such as different breeds of dogs and cats.

For more information on asthma causes and treatment, visit the NHS website.

Learn more about Salbutamol inhalers.

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