Approximately 25 million Americans suffer from asthma—a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma has been on the rapid rise since the early 1980s. Children are much more vulnerable to asthma than adults. (Asthma affects nearly 10 percent of children compared to less than five percent of adults.) In fact, asthma is the most prevalent chronic condition that affects children.
Asthma symptoms include:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Mucus in the lungs and airways
Allergy and Asthma: A Link?
Most people who have asthma also suffer from allergies (roughly 60 to 80 percent). Why the connection? It all starts with a harmless allergen (pollen, pet dander, allergenic foods, etc.) When the immune system of an allergic person encounters this allergen, it reacts by releasing chemicals (histamine) into the body. These chemicals lead to swelling of the lungs and air passageways, lots of mucus production, etc.
Asthma symptoms are commonly treated with inhaled corticosteroids. Some patients find these to be effective, but they can have harmful side effects.
In cases where asthma is allergy-related, allergy immunotherapy may prove to be a more long-term solution to asthma because it addresses the source of the problem—not just its symptoms.
Immunotherapy desensitizes the body to allergens in the environment so that it will stop overreacting to them in ways that lead to troubling symptoms—including asthma.
Immunotherapy may be administered through injections or sublingually (as under-the-tongue drops that absorb into the bloodstream). Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is safer than shots and more convenient because it can be administered in the comfort of home rather than at the doctor’s office.
Contact AllergyEasy to learn about allergy drops for asthma or to find a sublingual immunotherapy clinic near you.