Woman uses an inhaler to combat asthma due to allergies
Ears, Nose, Throat

How do Seasonal Allergies Affect Asthma?

The beginning of the pollen allergy seasons is upon us. Allergy symptoms arise when the immune system detects pollen or other allergens and identifies it as an invader. It sends an antibody called immunoglobulin to protect the body. High levels of immunoglobulin however, can cause inflammation, swelling and tightening of the airways. This is called allergy-induced asthma.

According to Catherine A. Wright, MD, otolaryngologist at Bayhealth ENT, Dover, about 25 million children and adults suffer from asthma. Approximately 60% of them are affected by allergy-induced asthma. Symptoms can include, shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and chest pressure.

If you suffer from these symptoms, Dr. Wright suggests you speak to your doctor to determine the allergens that are causing them. You can then discuss ways to reduce or avoid your triggers and the best ways to relieve symptoms.

If seasonal pollen is your trigger, cleaning more frequently, keeping your windows closed and using allergen reducing filters in your HVAC system can help reduce the chances of pollen getting into your airways.

Dr. Wright says, “There are several different ways to treat allergy-induced asthma symptoms. They include leukotriene modifiers (like Singulair), allergy shots, anti-immunoglobulins, albuterol inhalers and nebulizers. It may take time to find the treatment that will work best for you.”

Visit us at Bayhealth ENT, Dover to learn more about our team of otolaryngologists and how they can help you with your allergies.

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