Millions of individuals throughout the world are afflicted by allergies, which is a common condition. They can cause a range of symptoms, including sneezing, itching, and watery eyes. But did you know that allergies can also affect your lungs?
Studies have shown that allergies can trigger asthma symptoms in some people, leading to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
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In fact, a recent Arizona allergy lung function test conducted at Arizona Allergy Associates, which is one of the premier providers of healthcare services, found that more than 70% of people with asthma have at least one allergy that triggers their symptoms.
Our immune system can react
Allergic reactions occur when your body’s immune system reacts to a substance that it perceives as a threat. This substance, known as an allergen, can be anything from pollen to pet dander.
When your body encounters an allergen, it produces antibodies that release chemicals such as histamine, which causes inflammation and other symptoms.
Allergies can affect our lungs
In some cases, allergies can affect your lungs and cause breathing difficulties. This is particularly true for people who have asthma, a chronic lung condition that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways.
But even if you don’t have asthma, allergies can still affect your lung function. Inflammation caused by allergies can lead to reduced lung capacity, making it harder to breathe. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and even chest pain.
You must consult doctors
If you have allergies and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor. They may recommend a breathing or lung function test to assess the extent of the damage caused by your allergies.
There are also steps you can take to reduce your exposure to allergens and minimize the impact of allergies on your lungs.
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1. Avoiding allergens
Take action to prevent the allergens that cause your symptoms by identifying them. This may involve keeping your home clean and free of dust and pet dander, avoiding outdoor activities during high pollen counts, and using air filters or purifiers to remove allergens from the air.
2. Taking medications
Over-the-counter or prescription medications such as antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, and bronchodilators can help reduce allergy symptoms and improve lung function.
Allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy can help desensitize your body to allergens over time, reducing the severity of allergic reactions and their impact on your lungs.
How can you prevent it?
Preventing allergies from affecting your lungs requires a combination of measures to reduce exposure to allergens and manage symptoms with medication or other treatments.
Here are some tips to prevent allergies from affecting your lungs:
1. Identify allergens: It is crucial to identify the allergens that trigger your allergic reactions and take steps to avoid them as much as possible. Mold, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites are examples of typical allergens.
2. Keep your home clean: Regularly clean your home to reduce exposure to allergens. Vacuum carpets and upholstery frequently, wash bedding in hot water, and use air purifiers with HEPA filters to remove airborne allergens.
3. Avoid smoking: Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, as smoking can irritate the lungs and make allergic asthma symptoms worse.
4. Manage stress: Stress can worsen allergy symptoms, so managing stress through exercise, relaxation techniques, or other methods can help reduce symptoms.
5. Take medication: Your doctor may prescribe medications such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, or bronchodilators to manage your allergy symptoms and prevent asthma attacks.
It is essential to take medication as prescribed and to follow up regularly with your doctor.
6. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, can help reduce the severity of allergic reactions over time by desensitizing the immune system to specific allergens.
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In summary, allergies can have a significant impact on your lung function, particularly if you have asthma. But even if you don’t have asthma, allergies can still cause inflammation and reduced lung capacity, making it harder to breathe.
If you are experiencing symptoms related to allergies, it is important to talk to your doctor and take steps to reduce your exposure to allergens. By doing so, you can improve your lung function and overall health.