You may not realize it, but allergies and asthma are very different conditions. An overreaction of the immune system causes allergies to a specific allergen, such as pollen, pet dander, or certain foods. Asthma, on the other hand, is a chronic condition affecting the lungs and airways, making breathing difficult. Though they are different conditions, they often occur together. Research has shown that people with asthma are more likely to have allergies.
The Immune System & Allergies
So, what exactly happens when you have an allergic reaction? It all starts with your immune system. Usually, the immune system’s job is to protect your body from harmful invaders, like bacteria and viruses. But the immune system mistakes harmless things for dangerous invaders in people with allergies. When you interact with an allergen, your immune system works to produce antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies cause cells in your body to release chemicals, like histamine, which leads to allergy symptoms.
The Lungs & Asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the lungs and airways. The airways are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. These airways become inflamed and narrow in people with asthma, making breathing difficult. This inflammation is usually triggered by cold air, exercise, smoke, or allergens. When the airways become inflamed, they produce more mucus than normal. The combination of inflammation and mucus makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing.
Though allergies and asthma are two different conditions, they often occur together. Therefore, if you have allergies and suffer from occasional shortness of breath or wheezing, you must see a doctor to get properly diagnosed and treated. The good news is that you can now deal with these two problems efficiently through the advances in medical technology. Here are ways you can do that.
One of the best ways to manage your allergies and asthma is to go for allergy shots. These injections contain small amounts of your allergen, which helps your body build immunity against the allergens over time. Allergy shots can help reduce allergic symptoms like sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and much more. However, did you know that there are now some robust alternatives to allergy shots? The problem with allergy shots is that they can be hard to take, especially at home. But with these alternatives, you can now handle your allergies comfortably. Here are two of the common alternatives.
Medical technology has now found a way to replace allergy shots with small, dissolvable tablets called allergy drops. Allergy drops contain a minimal amount of your allergen and are easy to take at home. By taking these pills regularly, you can slowly build immunity against common allergens. Additionally, allergy drops are as effective as allergy shots in managing allergies.
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT)
Another option gaining popularity is oral immunotherapy or OIT for short. This treatment involves consuming tiny amounts of your allergen daily while monitoring symptoms closely. You may initially experience some side effects, but these will go away once your body builds immunity to the drug. With this treatment method, it’s possible to reduce the frequency and dosage of your allergy medications.
Several apps are available to help you manage your allergies and asthma. For example, the AsthmaMD app allows users to track their symptoms, medication use, and environmental triggers. This information can be shared with your doctor to ensure you get the best possible care. There are also apps available that provide allergy alerts based on your location. This can be extremely helpful if you’re travelling to an area where you’re not familiar with the local allergens.
Wearable devices such as Fitbit or Apple Watch can be beneficial for managing allergies and asthma. These devices allow you to track your activities and heart rate, which is essential information for people with these conditions. Some devices even have built-in sensors that can detect when you’re having an allergic reaction or an asthma attack. This information can then be shared with your doctor so that you can get the treatment you need as soon as possible.
Exposure to specific environmental triggers can cause severe problems for people with allergies or asthma. That’s why many people are now using smart thermostats in their homes. These thermostats allow you to remotely control the temperature and humidity in your home, which means you can avoid exposure to allergens or other triggers when necessary. You can also use smart thermostats to monitor the air quality in your home and receive alerts if any potentially dangerous levels of allergens or other pollutants are present.
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, there’s no need to feel like you’re constantly fighting a losing battle. With the help of technology, you can take control of your condition and manage it effectively. So don’t hesitate to take advantage of all the resources that are available to you!