Roughly 50 million Americans are living with allergies, and 25 million have asthma. If you have food or respiratory allergies, you’re more likely to develop asthma; if you have asthma, the chances of developing them is higher.
Fortunately, with the right health team on your side, you can manage allergies and/or asthma, and minimize the impact on your daily life. Patients rely on the allergy and immunology expertise of Dr. Ulrike Ziegner, founder of Riviera Allergy Medical Center, for top-quality care when you need it most.
Dr. Ziegner routinely evaluates, diagnoses, and helps patients manage allergies and asthma. It’s wise to visit a specialist when you have symptoms of allergies or asthma.
Allergy and asthma symptoms
Allergies are triggered by exposure to things like pollen, mold, dust mites, pets, or certain foods. The range of symptoms includes sneezing, itchy eyes, watery eyes, rash, runny nose, and nasal congestion. Asthma, on the other hand, causes chest discomfort, wheezing, trouble breathing, and coughing.
The relationship between allergies and asthma
Immunoglobulin E (IgE), the antibody involved in allergic responses, appears to play a role in both, allergic asthma and allergies. It’s important to know, however, that elevated IgE isn’t found in all cases of asthma, known as non-allergic asthma. Variations in immune responses and inflammation, as well as environmental variables, are also contributing factors for asthma.
Allergies can trigger asthma symptoms (allergy-induced asthma). In fact, allergies are the most common cause of asthma, accounting for 60% of all cases. Many of the triggers that cause allergies can also lead to asthma attacks.
For this reason, people with asthma benefit from managing their allergies.
Getting symptoms under control
Identifying your triggers for allergy and asthma symptoms and how to reduce your exposure to them is an important part of getting your symptoms under control. Dr. Ziegner can offer appropriate strategies and determine the best treatment for you.
Because allergy and asthma symptoms tend to fluctuate over time, your treatment may need to be adjusted. Learning to limit and minimize allergy triggers, and recognize symptoms of asthma flare-ups, go a long way in helping you feel better.
Asthma management often involves using a rescue inhaler for sudden attacks, tracking your lung function using a simple device called a peak flow meter, and using a long-acting inhalers to keep airways relaxed and reduce the frequency of attacks.
Medications for allergy control include antihistamines, leukotriene inhibitors, and nasal steroids. These medications will not prevent allergic reactions, but it will mellow symptoms of allergic reactions.
This type of immunotherapy works similarly to a vaccine in that small amounts of an allergen allow the body to gradually build a tolerance and prevent allergic reactions. The majority of patients receive allergy injections for 3-4years and will give protection for several years even after discontinuation.
Biologics are injectibles that block allergic and/or inflammatory pathways and are indicated when conventional therapies fail to prevent allergy and asthma attacks.
Asthma and allergy symptoms can make life miserable, but they don’t have to! Take charge of your allergy and/or asthma symptoms today. Give us a call at 310-438-6440 to schedule a visit with Dr. Ziegner today or send the team a message here on the website at any time.