Allergies, while mostly notorious for causing annoying symptoms, can also trigger or exacerbate asthma. Allergy-induced asthma (allergic asthma) occurs when your immune system overreacts to an allergen (e.g., pollen, mold, dust mite, etc.) you inhaled and produces antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (lgE), which then prompt your cells to produce histamine. Histamine is what is responsible for the tightening of your airways and your symptoms, such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
While there’s no cure for asthma, working with an allergy doctor can help you reduce its impact on your quality of life and lower your risk for a severe, potentially life-threatening attack. The information we’ve provided below can give you a basic idea of how an allergy doctor can help with breathing problems associated with allergic asthma.
Diagnosing and Treating Allergic Asthma
To pinpoint the culprit in your symptoms, your allergy doctor will start with doing a skin prick or blood test. Once the allergen is identified, your allergy doctor may then carry out spirometry—a type of lung function test that enables your doctor to measure how much air you exhale in one forced breath. Spirometry is the gold standard for diagnosing asthma and other lung problems.
Once your allergy doctor confirms a diagnosis, they will then proceed with creating the appropriate treatment plan, which will likely consist of any or a combination of the following modalities:
- Bronchodilators – These allow for easier breathing by dilating your airways (bronchi). Bronchodilators come in two types: short-acting (rescue inhalers- albuterol) and long-acting The latter can provide symptom relief for 12 to 24 hours.
- Inhaled corticosteroids – This class of drugs helps suppress inflammation and mucus in your airways, thereby helping ease breathlessness and coughing.
- Mucolytics – These break up and thin mucus, making it easier for you to cough it up.
- Xolair® — This is an injectable prescription medication used for treating moderate to severe cases of allergy-induced asthma.
- Immunotherapy – This involves your allergy doctor regularly administering (injecting) small but increasing amounts of an allergen to retrain your immune system to gradually become tolerant to it. Over time, you will notice a significant improvement of your symptoms and decreased reliance on your medications.
Allergy Doctor in Weatherford, TX
Just because you’re dealing with allergies doesn’t mean they have to be a fact of life. If you live in or around Weatherford in Texas and looking for a renowned allergy doctor, visit us here at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas.
Dr. Olusegun Oseni, our board-certified pulmonologist, can get to the bottom of your symptoms and determine the most suitable and effective treatment for you, so you can take full control of them or even conquer them.