Allergies make asthma more severe and difficult to control.
About one in ten Australian adults and one in nine or ten children have asthma. It is often associated with other allergic conditions like hay fever and eczema.
Asthma causes the muscles in the airways to tighten and the lining of the airway becomes swollen and inflamed, producing sticky mucous. These changes cause the airways to become narrow, making it difficult to breathe. Most people with asthma only have symptoms when they inhale a ‘trigger’ such as pollen, exercise without the right preparation, or if they catch a cold or flu.
About 80% of asthma sufferers have allergies, allergies often make it more severe and difficult to control. Asthma attacks can be very severe and fatal. Asthma cannot be cured, but with good management, people with asthma can lead normal, active lives. It is very important to identify and manage your triggers to keep your asthma under control. These triggers include:
- dust mites, cockroaches and other insects
- pollens from grasses, trees and weeds
- contact with animals
- animal dander (flakes of fur or hair) and saliva
- solvents and fumes
- cold air and changes in temperature