This article has been adapted from Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI
Oftentimes, it can be hard to discern whether an individual’s asthma is caused by allergies or not. Allergic and non-allergic asthma have similar symptoms but the causes are different.
Allergy Induced Asthma Causes
Allergy induced asthma is the most common form of asthma. If this is the type of asthma you have, it will be triggered by the inhaling of allergens. Allergens come in many different forms such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen or mold.
In allergy induced asthma, the allergen triggers a response that starts in the immune system. Through a complex reaction, these allergens then cause the passages in the airways of the lungs to become inflamed. This inflammation is what causes coughing, wheezing and other asthma symptoms.
Exposure to allergens may trigger the symptoms, but the real culprit in allergic asthma is the IgE antibody. The IgE antibody is produced by the body in response to allergen exposure. The combination of the antibody with allergens results in the release of potent chemicals called mediators. The mediators cause inflammation of the airways, resulting in symptoms of asthma.
Other Asthma Causes
Some people have asthma that is not triggered by allergens. Asthma symptoms may also be triggered by exercise, viral or bacterial infections, cold air or by related conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Knowing if your asthma is allergic or not is important for treating your condition. Given the relationship between allergies and asthma, an allergist/immunologist is the best qualified physician to diagnose your symptoms and help you manage your asthma.
Make an appointment today so we can help you find the cause of your asthma. We will do the best we can to improve your quality of life!