What Is Asthma? What are the Factors that Trigger Allergic Asthma?
The airway system called the bronchus provides the transmission of the air we take to the lungs when we breathe in and out. Airways of asthmatic patients are more sensitive than normal and various allergens, smoking cigarettes, odours, cold, flu, upper respiratory tract diseases such and other triggering factors narrow the airway and make breathing difficult.
Asthma can be triggered by many environmental factors, although hereditary factors are also effective. Allergic asthma accounts for about 60 percent of asthma patients. Environmental factors are pollens, all kinds of odours, dust, moisture, fungal spores and mould that appear frequently in spring. In addition to these, stress, air pollution, cigarette smoke, sharp odours such as perfume, and the air blown by air conditioners are among the triggers of allergic asthma. Allergens can affect the respiratory tract, lungs, skin or eyes. In people with allergic structure, the organs and allergy types to which the allergy will occur may change over time.
The patient’s complaints of allergic asthma are determined by allergy skin tests or allergen-specific blood tests.
Situations that trigger allergic asthma
Allergic asthma can be triggered by many allergens and irritants. Allergens can initiate a series of reactions that can result in narrowing of the airways in the lungs by affecting some chemical mechanisms in the body. Dust, pollen, animal hair, humidity, mould, pungent odour and some foods are among the most known triggers that cause allergic asthma. Attention should be paid to substances that have the potential to trigger this type of allergic asthma, and environments that contain such substances should be avoided as much as possible. In addition to all these, the person’s mood and excessive stress can also trigger an asthma attack.
House dust, mite allergens are present in every home. Almost all household items (carpets, armchairs, curtains, pillows, quilts, etc.) have house mites. These seemingly harmless little insects cause irritating conditions such as asthma-related shortness of breath and severe coughing and sneezing.
Pollen from trees and plants that goes into the air triggers allergic asthma. In particular, pollen that emerges in the spring is in the air throughout the year in warm climates. During these spreading periods, asthma patients’ complaints may increase over weeks and months.
Animal hair and epithelium:
Asthma can be triggered by animal urine, feces, saliva, hair or fur. You’re not only exposed to them because of the pet in your own home, they will have the same effect if there is a pet in the places you visit or if an animal has been around before.
Humidity and mould:
Mould can be seen in almost any humid environment. Moulds that can form on wood coating, carpet and walls in homes cause small spores to be released into the air. These invisible spores can trigger allergic asthma. Areas such as toilets and bathrooms, which are in contact with water and steam, need to be cleaned regularly to remove mould.
Odour and smoke:
Many sharp-smelling substances such as cleaning materials, cologne, perfume and cigarette smoke can trigger asthma attacks and cause asthma symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.
Most allergic asthma attacks are caused by food allergies. The most well-known foods, which cause asthma, are nuts, shellfish, milk and dairy products. Apart from these, many foods that may vary from person to person can also cause allergic asthma.
What are asthma symptoms?:
One of the most important findings in asthma is difficulty in breathing. A feeling of shortness of breath and wheezing occur following exposure to an allergen or irritant. Cough is one of the most well-known symptoms of asthma. This dry and persistent cough occurs especially at night or in the morning and wakes the patient from sleep.
Asthma and its diagnosis:
In addition to the patient’s complaints, some tests and examinations should be performed for the diagnosis of asthma. Chest X-ray, reversible pulmonary function test, some blood tests and skin prick test are among the tests that should be done.
What should be done to prevent asthma attack?:
Foods that have been determined to have a triggering effect for asthma attacks should be avoided. Some precautions should also be taken against inhaled allergens. Factors such as house dust mite, humidity and mould in the house can increase the complaints of allergic asthma patients. If there are mouldy and damp areas, necessary repair measures should be taken there, especially if there is a house dust allergy, it is necessary to keep as few items as possible in the bedroom, and to use anti-allergic textile products if possible. A person should not be in the open air for a long time and should not do sports between 05.00 and 10.00 in the morning when the pollen is most intense. At the same time, it is necessary not to ventilate the house during these hours. When coming from outside, one should take a shower and change his clothes. Periodic maintenance of air conditioners should be done and pollen filters should be placed. Eyes should also be protected with glasses.