Your Persistent Allergic Symptoms May Be Asthma

What you think is an allergy to something in your environment may actually be a mild form of asthma. Nearly 18 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with asthma. If you find yourself fighting to take a breath when you have one of these "allergy" flare-ups, get to a medical clinic for an asthma work-up. Once they suspect asthma as the culprit, you can start treatment to reduce your risk of difficulty breathing.

Asthma Has More Triggers Than Allergies

Like an allergy, asthma causes tissue in your airway to swell up when triggered by particular substances. Unlike an allergy, asthma can also be triggered by emotions and activity. Your swollen tissues block the airway, making it hard to get enough air into your lungs. Some of the triggers of an asthma attack include:

  • strong chemical or perfume scents
  • pollen, dust, mold and mildew
  • burning leaves and other yard waste
  • cigarette smoke
  • changes in barometric pressure from different weather patterns
  • anxiety and stressful situations
  • physical exertion

Symptoms of an Asthma Attack

Some of the symptoms of an asthma attack are different than a typical allergic reaction. The symptoms can include:

  • inflammation of the throat
  • heavy buildup of mucous in the throat
  • hard or rapid breathing
  • pain or pressure in the chest

Asthma attacks also become worse as you begin fighting to get enough air into your lungs. This can create a dangerous cycle in which you start to breathe harder and become anxious. This triggers a stronger asthma response to which you'll respond by breathing even harder and becoming more anxious. In severe cases, asthma may lead to a block in the airway so you get little air in.

Treating the Asthma

The cause of asthma is unknown, so treatment focuses on reducing the uncomfortable symptoms. Some of the ways your doctor can treat your asthma include:

Anti-inflammatory medications - These reduce swelling in the throat and other parts of the airway. They will also reduce the mucous production. These medications will help to prevent an asthma attack from becoming worse.

Bronchodilators - These are inhaled as a mist into your lungs. The medication reduces the tightness and pressure in your chest and the inflammation in the airway. Your doctor may have you use the inhaler before starting physical activity to prevent an asthma attack.

Steroid Therapy - If the asthma attack leaves you fighting for a breath, an emergency treatment with steroids will immediately open up your airways. These medications are only used in an emergency. Your doctor will show you how to use them at home should you have a severe asthma attack. Once you can breathe easier, you'll need to get to an emergency room for further treatment. Visit websites like for more information.