Exploring Chronic Illnesses in Kids – Asthma vs Allergies

Difference Between Asthma and Allergies
Difference Between Asthma and Allergies

What Is the Difference Between Asthma and Allergies?

Chronic illness can impact almost every aspect of a child’s life. In the United States, over 25 million children suffer from some type of allergy episode every year. Also, asthma is one of the most common diseases in children under 18 years old. Substances such as pollen, pet dander, and smoke can trigger an allergic attack as well as asthma. However, it’s important to understand the difference between these two diseases so proper treatment can be administered.

Chronic Allergies

Chronic allergies occur when the immune system reacts improperly to an allergen such as pollen, insects, latex, food, mold, or drugs. An allergic reaction is triggered when the body overreacts to a substance it views as damaging. When this contact occurs, the body releases antibodies to rid the body of the allergen. Allergy symptoms occur during an allergic reaction. The types of allergic symptoms a child experiences can last for a few minutes too long periods of time. The symptoms of an allergic attack depend on the type of allergen causing the allergic episode. For instance, an allergy to pollen can involve sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes. An allergy to food such as peanut butter can include trachea constriction, hives, shortness of breath, and digestive problems. Constriction of the throat may be anaphylaxis. This reaction requires immediate medical assistance so it’s not fatal. The optimal treatment for allergies is to avoid the substance causing the allergy attack. However, this can be difficult when the allergen is an outdoor substance such as pollen or mold. Medications, immunotherapy, and anti-immunoglobulin therapy are frequently used treatments for most allergies. Over-the-counter medications are taken much of the time for seasonal allergies. It’s preferable to get a proper diagnosis before using treatments for more serious allergies.

Chronic Asthma

Chronic asthma is a long-term respiratory disease affecting the airways of the lungs. Inflammation and constriction of lung airways can happen when an asthma attack occurs. Asthma symptoms can occur many times a day to only a few times a year. Factors such as extreme heat, extreme cold, or high humidity can make an asthma attack more severe. These factors are called asthma triggers. The cause of an asthma attack varies among asthma sufferers. A leading cause of asthma attacks is the body trying to fight off an allergen present in the lungs. This is called allergy-induced asthma. An asthma attack can also be triggered when the body fights off infection. Understanding the basic cause of a person’s asthma is important to receive the proper treatment. Short-term relief medications such as short-acting anticholinergics and oral corticosteroids are often administered by doctors as a first-line of treatment. Long-term control treatments like biologic medications and leukotriene modifiers help asthma patients who have more extreme asthma attacks. Parents of children suffering from asthma or allergies can learn about integrative pediatrics plano texas so both diseases are treated properly.

The Asthma-Allergy Connection

Both allergy and asthma problems should be treated with the correct therapy so patients have a better quality of life. Understanding the differences and similarities of these diseases helps patients to be well-informed. This knowledge can help prevent a life-threatening medical situation. It can also help avoid unnecessary treatments. Complementary medical treatments for allergies and asthma promotes enhanced wellness and overall heightened well-being.

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