What is the Difference Between an Allergy and Asthma

If you have ever wondered if there is a difference between an allergy and asthma, there is many differences. Asthma is a medical condition in which the airways have constricted or become inflamed. This condition narrows the airways and creates chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. An allergy is a hypersensitive disorder that causes the immune system to over react to a foreign substance.

An allergy can cause an allergic reaction such as eczema which is inflammation of the skin. Another allergic reaction can be in the form of hives. Hives, also known as uticaria, is a skin rash that consist of red itchy bumps or whelps. An allergy to environmental factors can cause hay fever. Hay fever is an allergic rhinitis, or inflammation of the nasal passages. Allergic reactions from these and other factors can trigger an asthma attack.

Seasonal allergens can trigger an asthma attack. These include pollens, molds, and even cold air. Dust is another allergen that can trigger an asthma attack. An allergy to bug droppings and animal dander is not uncommon. Some people can have a food allergy, or be allergic to sulfites in alcoholic drinks. Other factors such as chemicals, fumes, and even latex gloves can cause an allergic reaction.

An allergic reaction can manifest into many disorders and asthma is just one of them. When an allergy triggers an asthma attack it can become serious very quickly. A severe asthma attack can result in anaphylactic conditions such as biphasic anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock. What this means is the airways becomes constricted or worse obstructed and the blood pressure begins to fall. These is a life threatening event and requires medical intervention.

There are many ways to test for both asthma and an allergy, but they are not the same. If you are an asthmatic you need to learn which allergens are triggers for attacks. On the other hand you may not be allergic to anything and still have asthma. You can have allergies and not have an asthma attack.