Kids who experience asthma signs and symptoms may also have allergies – the two frequently occur together, and treating both may be an effective way to provide relief. Just as every person reacts to allergens differently, a study by the Health Impacts of Airborne Allergen Information Network found that the “allergenicity” of pollens also varies. So, depending on the time of year and geographic region, pollens create different compounds that can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms.
Allergies and Asthma Information
Mayo Clinic allergy specialist James T. Li, M.D. states that the same particles that trigger allergic reactions can also cause asthma signs and symptoms like wheezing, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath. An allergic response happens when antibodies in the immune system think a harmless particle (e.g., pollen) is dangerous for the body. As the antibodies attack the particles, or allergens, the body releases chemicals that cause allergy and asthma symptoms. For those who don’t have asthma, symptoms can include a runny nose, itchy eyes or a skin reaction. For children who have asthma, the allergens affect their airways and lungs, making asthma symptoms worse.
Treating Allergies and Asthma
While most treatments help reduce either allergy or asthma symptoms, some can help with both. According to ScienceDaily®, the most effective therapy for allergies is hyposensitization. With this type of treatment, a patient is exposed to an allergen over a long period so the body grows accustomed to it. Some doctors use pollen extracts, but a vaccine (immunotherapy) with the actual allergenic proteins is believed to be more effective.
To help get a child’s allergy and asthma symptoms under control, it’s important to discover which allergens trigger the symptoms, and limit the child’s exposure to them. For example, if your child is allergic to dogs, don’t allow him or her to play at the home of a friend who owns a dog. Instead, invite the friend to play at your home, and then vacuum the play area after the friend leaves. Work closely with your child’s doctor to determine the best treatment options for your child’s asthma signs and symptoms, and check in with the physician regularly.
Photo by jolly_janner, on Flickr.