Allergy

Asthma

Spokane Valley ENT can diagnose and provide treatment to manage asthma.

Registered nurses may perform pulmonary function testing in our office to help diagnose asthma.

Asthma and allergies are closely connected; allergies can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Identifying and treating allergies can aid in the prevention of asthma symptoms. Avoiding triggers (pets, scents etc.) may also be effective in preventing or reducing asthma symptoms.

 

What are some common asthma triggers?

  • Allergens from nature, typically inhaled, including grass pollen, mold spores, and pet epithelial cells.
  • Indoor air pollution from volatile organic compounds, including perfumes and perfumed products. Examples include soap, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, fabric softener, paper tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, hair spray, hair gel, cosmetics, facial cream, sun cream, deodorant, cologne, shaving cream, aftershave lotion, air freshener and candles, and products such as oil-based paint.
  • Medications, including aspirin, beta blockers, and penicillin.
  • Food allergies such as milk, peanuts, and eggs. However, asthma is rarely the only symptom, and not all people with food or other allergies have asthma.
  • Use of fossil fuel related allergenic air pollution, such as ozone, smog, summer smog, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, which is thought to be one of the major reasons for the high prevalence of asthma in urban areas.
  • Various industrial compounds and other chemicals, notably sulfites; chlorinated swimming pools generate chloramines in the air around them, which are known to induce asthma.
  • Early childhood infections, especially viral upper respiratory tract infections. However, persons of any age can have asthma triggered by colds and other respiratory infections even though their normal stimuli might be from another category (e.g. pollen) and absent at the time of infection. In many cases, significant asthma may not even occur until the respiratory infection is in its waning stage, and the person is seemingly improving.  In children, the most common triggers are viral illnesses such as those that cause the common cold.
  • Exercise or intense use of respiratory system. The effects of which differ somewhat from those of the other triggers, since they are brief. They are thought to be primarily in response to the exposure of the airway epithelium to cold, dry air.
  • Hormonal changes in adolescent girls and adult women associated with their menstrual cycle can lead to a worsening of asthma. Some women also experience a worsening of their asthma during pregnancy whereas others find no significant changes, and in other women their asthma improves during their pregnancy.
  • Psychological stress. There is growing evidence that psychological stress is a trigger. It can modulate the immune system, causing an increased inflammatory response to allergens and pollutants.
  • Cold weather can make it harder for asthmatics to breathe. Whether high altitude helps or worsens asthma is debatable and may vary from person to person.

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