It is spring, and the air is full of promise, new life and pollen. For nearly 60 million Americans, airborne allergens bring watery eyes and stuffy noses. Don’t let hay fever make you miserable.
If you are wheezing and sneezing, you are not alone. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, one in five Americans suffer with all types of allergies including indoor/outdoor, food and drug, latex, insect, skin and eye allergies. In addition, about 20 million Americans have asthma, a chronic lung disease in which the airways constrict and narrow.
You may wonder what allergies and asthma have in common besides making you miserable. A lot, as it turns out. Allergies and asthma often occur together. Where allergies cause the body to overreact to airborne pollen and mold, people with asthma have inflamed airways which are super-sensitive to things which do not bother other people.
The same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms may also cause asthma signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. This is called allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma. Substances such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander are common triggers. In some people, skin or food allergies can cause asthma symptoms...