Believe it or not, more than half of the 25 million people living with asthma have allergies that trigger their symptoms. So, when they inhale an allergen, it causes swelling in the airways, making it difficult to breathe.
A few of the most common allergic asthma triggers include:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
If this sounds familiar, desensitizing your body to your triggers with allergy shots could help ease your asthma symptoms, and our team can help.
At Advanced Allergy & Asthma, our allergists perform thorough diagnostic testing to better understand breathing issues and your triggers, including allergy testing and treatment.
Do you have asthma? Here’s how immunotherapy could improve your breathing.
Allergies and asthma
It’s possible to have asthma for years without realizing you have allergies triggering your attacks. That’s because we often associate allergies with classic symptoms, like rashes, itching, and hives. But allergens can enter your body in numerous ways, including getting inhaled.
When you inhale allergens, your allergic reaction occurs in your airway, which interferes with your ability to breathe. On top of that, the same substances that can cause those food allergies or pesky seasonal allergy symptoms can also lead to asthma symptoms.
This may seem complicated, but there’s a simple answer. Your immune system releases chemicals that cause allergic reactions when exposed to specific triggers, which cause your runny nose, itchy eyes, or skin issues. And for some people, this reaction also affects the airways and lungs, triggering asthma symptoms.
While asthma and allergy typically require different treatment strategies, some approaches can help with both, including immunotherapy.
Diagnosing allergic asthma
Our experienced team can help confirm the presence of asthma and other inflammatory respiratory issues during an office visit. It all starts with a simple spirometry test to evaluate your lung function. We also review your personal and family medical history to look for other factors that could be triggering your symptoms, like allergies.
If we suspect allergies could be contributing to your asthma symptoms, we could recommend allergy testing. This typically involves skin “scratch” tests or blood tests to identify the specific substances causing your body to react.
After diagnosing allergic asthma and identifying your specific triggers, we can put together a personalized treatment strategy to manage both of your conditions. And immunotherapy treatments — or allergy shots — can tackle both simultaneously.
Immunotherapy and asthma
Traditional allergy and asthma medications treat your symptoms. Immunotherapy eliminates them. They work by slowly desensitizing your body to the substances causing your reactions. This highly effective approach can provide long-lasting relief from even the most disruptive allergy symptoms, including allergy-triggered asthma.
When you undergo immunotherapy, we introduce your body to tiny amounts of the allergen causing your symptoms. Over time, we continue increasing these doses until you no longer react to them.
This process can vary depending on the type of immunotherapy you choose. For example, traditional allergy shots usually take place once a week and then every few weeks for 3-6 months. However, we also offer rush therapy, which shortens the initial buildup phase of shots to 1-2 days so you can get results faster.
Once you complete the buildup phase, you continue getting immunotherapy shots periodically to maintain your resistance.
Some people going through immunotherapy notice a significant improvement in their asthma symptoms almost immediately. However, it can take up to 12 months to see maximum results.
Could your asthma symptoms be related to allergies? Learn more about allergic asthma and how immunotherapy could help by contacting Advanced Allergy & Asthma in Ogden, Utah, to schedule a consultation today.