It’s the fall season again. This is the time for falling leaves, those cold rainy days, and digging out last year’s coats and hats. Along with these seasonal things comes the increased potential for allergies to trigger an asthma attack. About 25 million Americans suffer with some sort of asthma. The most common type of asthma is allergic asthma (about 60% of all asthmatics), which means the fall season can be a scary time for many allergy and asthma sufferers. You would be wise to be on guard, being sure to know what triggers your asthma symptoms. The doctors at Staten Island Pulmonary Associates, P.C are ready to help you understand the connection between asthma and allergies in Staten Island.
An allergy is a reaction to some type of substance; food, pollen, pets, mold, and dust are the major categories where most common allergens are found. An allergic reaction is the response where your immune system sees the substance as a threat to your health, and therefore tries to fight against it. Anyone, at any time and any age can develop an allergic reaction to something, even a substance that they were previously not allergic to. Every person may have a different reaction, but here are some of the most common allergy symptoms:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath
- Nasal congestion, sinus congestion
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
The most serious reaction is called anaphylactic shock (or going into shock), which requires emergency action.
If you have asthma, you should know if your symptoms are triggered by an allergy to something seasonal or environmental. Allergies and asthma may also be related to a food or a pet. The best way to avoid an allergic asthma attack is to be tested by a professionally trained allergy doctor and asthma specialist.
Allergy testing is done in several different ways.
- A skin test is the most common. This is where a small scratch is placed on your back or arm with the allergen substance on it. The substance gets into your skin and the doctor watches for a reaction, which can take around 20 minutes. The reaction is usually similar to a mosquito bite.
- An injection of the allergen can be given under the skin. This is usually done to double check the results from the skin test.
- A blood test is done to find antibodies to a particular substance, or allergen. The body will develop antibodies to fight against the substance. This can be especially useful in diagnosing food allergies.
- A saliva test is also being developed to check for allergies.
The doctors and professional staff at Staten Island Pulmonary Associates, P.C are well equipped to help you discover what your particular allergies are and how they affect your asthma. Our doctors are board certified in pulmonary medicine and are here to help you.