Did you know allergies affect approximately 60% of the over 25 million people in the US with asthma? This number makes it the most common type of asthma out there. Allergic asthma refers to asthma that gets triggered as a result of an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction is often due to airborne allergens, like pet dander, dust, mold, pollen, and more.
Allergic asthma is a chronic disease. Therefore, there is a need for consistent management. One of the ways to do so is to take precautions in exposing yourself to allergy triggers. If you are allergic to something, avoid exposure to reduce the chances of an allergic asthma attack. There are also many medications that can help treat allergic asthma. These medications work to reduce airway inflammation caused by the allergic reaction. Here are some ways you can treat allergic asthma:
As seen in the name, quick-relief medications only provide temporary relief to patients. These drugs are often used before exercise. We refer to these rescue medicines as bronchodilators.
The primary aim of bronchodilators is to assist in opening up airways, so that more air can pass through the pathways. Experts refer to them as short-acting beta-agonists, since their effect is not permanent. Inhalers or nebulizer machines administer this process, but you also have the option of using anticholinergics should your doctor recommend it.
Practitioners prescribe short-term medications to patients whose symptoms are caused by flare-ups. Corticosteroids is an example of a short-term medication. It is an anti-inflammatory drug that helps with airway inflammation.
Unlike quick-relief medications, you do not need any equipment or tool to take them. They often come in pill form, and you can buy them from the nearest drugstore. Take note, however, that you still need to consult with your doctor about the medicines you need to purchase. Your doctor will make a recommendation based on your age, medical history, and current medical situation.
Some people consider long-term medications as bothersome, but they can help you manage allergic asthma more effectively. They need to be taken regularly to treat symptoms and control airway inflammation, so you reduce the chances of flare-ups.
Listed below are some of the most common long-term drugs you can take.
- Leukotriene Modifiers. These drugs prevent allergies and asthma by blocking the action of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are inflammatory chemicals released by the body after it inhales or comes in contact with allergens. They trigger the production of excess fluid and mucus and the tightening of the airway muscles, which is what happens when you get an asthma attack.
- Inhaled Corticosteroids. The intake of inhaled steroids can lead to fewer symptom flare-ups, reduced chances of hospitalization, and better overall asthma control. Examples of this include ciclesonide (Alvesco), fluticasone (Flonase), mometasone (Asmanex), and budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler).
- This medication is known for its mild anti-inflammatory effect, and it also assists in the opening up of airways. The most common methylxanthine used is theophylline.
- Long-acting Beta Agonists. These are taken in combination with corticosteroids to maintain the opening of airways.
Immunotherapy, which comes in the form of allergy shots or sublingual tablets, is another treatment option. It can reduce your sensitivity to allergens through deliberate, long-term exposure.
Treat Your Allergic Asthma at Oak Brook Allergists
Although there are a lot of options on hand for treating allergic asthma, you cannot go about treatment alone. Talk to a doctor about what treatment will work best for you.
If you need guidance to manage your allergic asthma, Oak Brook Allergists is here to help. If you are living in or near Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, or Plainfield, Illinois, visit us to consult with our allergy specialists. To book your first appointment, call us at (630) 574-0460.