Respiratory allergies occur when an allergen comes into contact with our respiratory system, resulting in a series of annoying symptoms, depending on how it reaches the immune system, which may even hinder breathing correctly. Pollen, pollution, and tobacco are some of the most common triggers of this common problem; that is why at FastlyHealwe explains the types, symptoms, and treatment for respiratory allergies.
Table of Contents
Triggers of respiratory allergy
There are various groups of allergens, which are the ones that most frequently cause respiratory allergies. These groups are:
- Mites: constitute the most frequent group; they usually appear in domestic environments, in areas of medium temperatures, with high humidity and sea level. They grow in dust and accumulate on carpets, rugs, mattresses, cushions, curtains, stuffed animals, etc., feeding on human scales. Of these mites, the substance that gives rise to allergic reactions is their feces.
- Pollen: highly involved in asthmatic-type reactions; in our environment, they constitute the second most frequent cause of respiratory allergic reactions. We must indicate that pollen levels are not constant throughout the year, so the symptoms vary in intensity depending on the month of the year in which we find ourselves being more intense in spring. The pollen that causes the most reactions is usually found in meadow grasses, green areas, and trees like bananas and cypress.
- Animals: cats, although cows, horses, rodents, rabbits, and birds can also cause allergies or asthma.
- Fungi: causing 8% of all asthmatic allergies, mainly found in humid areas, such as houses near lakes, rivers, forests, etc.
- Pollution and fumes: air pollution, tobacco smoke, or breathing the vapors of certain substances can exacerbate or trigger the presence of respiratory allergies.
Types of respiratory allergies
Depending on how the immune system reacts to the allergen, various symptoms will appear; based on them, respiratory allergies can be classified into three main types:
- Rhinitis: occurs when the nasal mucosa becomes inflamed, causing symptoms such as constant sneezing, nasal congestion, mucus, and eye inflammation. Rhinitis, with some frequency, is usually a previous manifestation of asthma. Therefore its diagnosis could prevent the development of bronchial asthma.
- Bronchial asthma: it is a lung disease characterized by an obstruction of the bronchi, totally or partially reversible spontaneously or with treatment. Its symptoms include the sensation of suffocation or dyspnea, cough, and wheezing when expelling the air from the lungs; it can also cause chest pain, usually pins and needles.
- Alveolitis: occurs when the area affected by respiratory allergy is the alveoli. It is common in people exposed to fungi, organic plant dust, or various substances.
Tests to diagnose respiratory allergies
In addition to the patch tests and laboratory tests common to all allergies, there are specific tests to diagnose respiratory allergies. As in all asthmatic symptoms, a series of tests must be carried out to determine the degree of affectation that a patient with allergy presents at the respiratory level. These tests are:
- Forced spirometry, accompanied by a bronchodilation test.
- Challenge test with methacholine.
Together with a previous analysis of the environment in which the patient lives and their general state of health, all these tests will make it possible to diagnose the presence of a respiratory allergy.
Treatments for respiratory allergies
Depending on the type of respiratory allergy and the patient’s symptoms, the treatments may vary.
To treat allergic rhinitis is drawn from antihistamines new generation and nasal sprays; however, nasal washings with saline are very effective, as they carry spores, remove from the nasal mucosa and prevent them from reaching the airways and trigger an asthma attack, so it is a highly recommended alternative.
In the case of bronchial asthma, specific medication will be recommended for each case, but you can also opt for immunotherapy vaccines that can help modify and improve the allergy. It is essential that the patient avoid smoking and breathing tobacco smoke, strong odors or vapors, and not use vaporizers that can worsen the condition.
For patients with alveolitis, it will be necessary to stay away from those substances, vapor, or organic dust that produces the condition; simultaneously, the administration of oral corticosteroids is very effective in treating this condition.
Measures to prevent respiratory allergy
Depending on the trigger that produces the respiratory allergy, preventing it is not an easy task. However, some measures can be put into practice that will help to reduce the episodes significantly.
If you are allergic to pollen, we recommend:
- In the months of the year when more pollen is concentrated, avoid being outside or doing physical activity outdoors at the times of the day when it is most present, that is, between 5 and 10 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 7 p.m. 22 hours.
- Always wear glasses, which will prevent pollen from coming into contact with your eyes.
- Avoid being outdoors on windy days; in the same way, it is convenient to drive with the windows up and wear a full motorcycle helmet if you move with this means of transport.
- Do not come into contact with plants or spaces that cause allergies. Avoid trips to rural and overgrown areas.
- Avoid hanging your clothes outside, as they will be exposed to pollen.
In the case of being allergic to mites, it is essential to :
- Properly cleaning the house and keeping it dust-free, keep clothes in a closet and prevent them from hanging outside so that they do not accumulate dust and with it mites.
- Avoid rugs, rugs, curtains, and stuffed animals, which increase the presence of mites. It is better to opt for wooden or ceramic floors and blinds and eliminate the presence of stuffed animals at home.
- Opt for anti-mite mattresses, pillows, and sheets. Change bedding frequently and wash it at 65 ° C or higher.
- Ventilate your home daily to avoid the accumulation of mites.
In the case of allergy to animals or organic powders, it will be enough to avoid coming into contact. It is advisable not to have animals at home, and in the event of coming into contact with one, it is recommended to wash clothes well to avoid any presence of hair that may cause discomfort.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Respiratory allergies: types, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.