Asthma and allergy are two conditions that most of the times go hand in hand. Asthma is a disease of the respiratory system whose main symptoms are airflow obstruction and bronchospasm (sudden contraction of the wall muscles of bronchioles). Allergy, on the other hand, is a hypersensitivity disease of the immune system. People with asthma may experience wheezing, coughing a lot and shortness of breath. There are different types of asthma. The one caused by some form of allergy is known as the allergic asthma, and it is the most common form of asthma.
When breathing, air is taken in through the nose, to the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles then to the alveoli (air sacs). At the alveoli, the oxygen that came in with the fresh air is absorbed into the blood in tiny capillaries and in a similar manner, the carbon dioxide is released and breathed out. When one is breathing normally, the muscle rings at the bronchioles are always relaxed, in case of an asthmatic attack, the muscles contract and fluid is released, making breathing very difficult.
Allergic asthma is caused when an inhaled airborne antigen interacts with the bronchial mucosa. When this happens, excess antibodies are produced which bind to the mast cells of the bronchial tree. The mast cells release histamine, and this is what excites the contraction of bronchial smooth muscles leading to mucosal edema.
Some of the antigen-bearing particles can include pollen, house dust, mold, insects and animal dander. Hyposensitization treatments work better for sensitivity to pollen than the other allergens. Sometimes, psychological factors may provoke an asthma attack in bronchi that is already affected by antigens. Treatment such as immunotherapy can help relieve the symptoms of allergy. Most treatments are made to treat either allergies or asthma; there are a few that can be used for both conditions. They include:
– Allergy shots: This helps the asthma by reducing how the immune system responds to some allergens. Immunology involves introducing your body to some allergens frequently until it is able to develop some tolerance.
– Anti-Immunoglobulin E (IgE) therapy: During an allergy, the body overreacts to an allergen thereby releasing antibodies called IgE that acts against the allergen. Medication such as Xolair interferes with IgE action in the body therefore preventing the allergic reactions that may trigger asthma attacks. Zyrtec is in the same category and is a proven allergy treatment medicine. You can get zyrtec from online.
– Leukotriene modifier: This is a pill that is taken daily to control the immune system and the chemicals it releases during an allergic reaction.
There is no one-time cure for asthma and allergy, although it can be controlled. The best way to live free from the symptoms is by sticking to a treatment plan.