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Asthma vs. Allergies vs. Allergic Asthma: What's the Difference?

Ever wondered why your eyes itch after a walk in the park, but your friend wheezes? Allergies and asthma, while both affecting your breathing, are actually quite different. This blog post will break down the key distinctions between these conditions and explore how they can sometimes be partners in crime.

Person sitting in a grassy park

What Is Asthma?

Asthma, on the other hand, is a chronic lung condition. The airways in your lungs become inflamed and hyperreactive, meaning they narrow easily in response to various triggers. These triggers can be allergens, but also include:

  • Irritants like smoke, pollution, or perfume

  • Exercise

  • Cold air

  • Respiratory infections

During an asthma attack, you might experience:

  • Wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest tightness

  • Coughing

Unlike allergies, asthma symptoms can come and go, and can sometimes linger even after the trigger is gone.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are a reaction of the immune system to substances that are typically harmless. These substances, known as allergens, can be found in various forms such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or certain foods. When an allergic person comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system produces antibodies, triggering the release of chemicals like histamine, which leads to allergy symptoms.

Some these symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Sneezing

  • Hives or rashes

These symptoms usually appear quickly after exposure to the allergen and tend to clear up once the allergen is removed.

How Are Allergies and Asthma Related?

Allergies and asthma are closely related, and many people who have one condition also have the other. This connection is known as allergic asthma, one of the most common forms of asthma, affecting both children and adults. In allergic asthma, exposure to allergens can trigger asthma symptoms, leading to an asthma attack. The same triggers (such as pollen and dust) can lead to both conditions.

woman with allergies in the park

Managing Allergies and Asthma Together

Since allergies and asthma often occur together, it's essential for individuals with both conditions to manage them effectively. This may include identifying and avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms, using allergy medications like antihistamines or nasal sprays, and using asthma medications such as bronchodilators or inhaled corticosteroids.


Breathe Easier in Hollywood, Florida: Get Tested for Allergies Today!

Think you might have allergies, but unsure what you're reacting to? Here at ENT Family, we offer quick and minimally invasive allergy testing services in Hollywood, Florida. Our tests can help identify the specific allergens causing your symptoms, empowering you to take control of your health.

Contact ENT Family today to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward improving your breathing and overall quality of life.

Address: 3911 Hollywood Blvd#201, Hollywood, FL 33021, United States

Phone: 754-888-1368


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Dr. David Eleff, Otolaryngologist/Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist at ENT Family in Hollywood, Florida.

This article has been medically reviewed by  otolaryngologist, David Eleff, M.D.

ENT Family Blog

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