Haydn's Wish

Registered Charity No 1148505

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Link between asthma and allergy

Here at Haydn's Wish, we're keen to raise awareness of link between asthma & allergies.

Allergies & asthma have a lot in common and often occur together - the majority of children with asthma also have allergies.

Some studies show that as many as 90% of children with asthma are also affected by allergies.(Arbes, Allen-Ramey, Host)

When you look at things that commonly trigger asthma,(NHSAS) you will see that the top 3 can be classed as allergens. This just highlights the overlap between asthma and allergy.

  • house dust mites
  • animal fur
  • pollen
  • cigarette smoke
  • exercise
  • viral infection

You may have also noticed in the Allergy Symptoms section that asthma is one of the symptoms of allergy - this is very confusing! But allergy can cause asthma-type symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness in non-asthma sufferers with food allergies.

The term 'allergic asthma' is used for people whose asthma is definitely linked to allergies.

Many people have more than one kind of asthma trigger, so your asthma could be triggered by exercise, infections, cold air as well as pollen and nuts.

If your child has asthma and you think allergens may also be triggering attacks, book a GP appointment to discuss getting them tested for allergies. An allergy test, which should be in the form of either a blood test (which can be requested in your GP surgery or in the hospital) or a skin prick test (normally undertaken in the hospital, but some GPs have the support and training to do in their practice), isn't hard to do and is available for free on the NHS for even the youngest children.

References

Arbes SJ, Jr et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007;120:1139-45.
Allen-Ramey F et al. J Am Board Fam Pract 2005;18:434-9.
Host A et al. Allergy 2000;55:600-8.
(NHSAS) NHS Conditions - Asthma updated November 2013. Available here http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/Pages/Introduction.aspx last accessed November 2013.