Allergic Asthma: Symptoms and Treatment

allergic asthma

If you’re consistently struggling with wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath, especially when certain substances are around, you might be dealing with allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is a chronic condition affecting your airways, making them inflamed and overly sensitive to specific triggers.

Knowing how to spot the signs, what causes allergic asthma, and the most effective treatment options can make a big difference in your quality of life. If you suspect you might have allergic asthma, finding a specialist like an allergic asthma doctor is important for personalized care.

Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

Let’s look at some reasons you may want to see an allergic asthma doctor :

  • Wheezing and shortness of breath: You might hear a high-pitched whistling sound while breathing in or out, and it may feel like you can’t take a deep enough breath. Shortness of breath might worsen during exercise or even simple tasks.
  • Chest tightness and coughing: A tight, uncomfortable feeling in your chest that can cause coughing fits, especially at night or after exertion. The cough may be dry or might bring up thick mucus.
  • Increased mucus production: Your body may produce more mucus, leading to a congested feeling in your nose, throat, and lungs. This can make it harder to breathe.
  • Triggers and exacerbating factors: Symptoms often worsen in the presence of allergens (more on that below). Other irritants, like smoke, pollution, strong scents, or even cold air, can also make your allergic asthma worse.

In addition to the common symptoms, some people with allergic asthma may experience fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and a general feeling of being unwell. This is because your body is working harder to breathe, which can drain your energy. If you’re noticing these symptoms along with the ones mentioned before, it’s even more important to talk to an allergic asthma doctor, like those at Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology, to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Causes of Allergic Asthma

Several factors contribute to allergic asthma—let’s break them down:

  • Allergens: 

These are substances that trigger an allergic reaction in your body. Common triggers for allergic asthma include:

  • Outdoor allergens
    • Pollen from trees, grass, and weeds: Pollen counts are typically highest in certain seasons, leading to seasonal allergic asthma symptoms.
    • Mold spores: These microscopic fungi thrive in damp environments and can be found outdoors, especially in decaying leaves or vegetation.
  • Indoor allergens
    • Dust mites: These thrive in warm, humid environments like bedding, carpets, and furniture. Their droppings are a significant source of indoor allergens.
    • Pet dander: Proteins found in the saliva, urine, and skin flakes of cats, dogs, and other animals can be allergens.
    • Cockroach droppings: Cockroaches leave behind droppings and body parts that contain allergy-causing proteins.
  • Other allergens:
  • Certain foods: In some individuals, common food allergens like peanuts, eggs, milk or shellfish can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Medications: Medications like aspirin or certain beta-blockers can worsen asthma for some people.
  • Genetic predisposition and family history: 

If you have a parent or sibling with asthma or allergies like eczema or hay fever, you have a higher chance of developing allergic asthma. This suggests a genetic component to allergy and asthma development. In this case, seeking the care of an allergic asthma doctor may be a good idea.

  • Environmental factors: 

Exposure to irritants can make your airways more sensitive and worsen asthma, even if you don’t have allergies. These include:

  • Air pollution
    • Exhaust fumes: Emissions from vehicles contain particulate matter and gases that irritate the lungs.
    • Smog: Smog is a combination of pollutants like ozone that can harm the respiratory system.
  • Tobacco smoke
    • Firsthand smoke: Smoking cigarettes directly damages your airways.
    • Secondhand smoke: Even being around smokers increases your asthma risk, particularly for children.
  • Strong chemicals and fumes
    • Cleaning products: Harsh chemicals in some cleaning products release fumes that are airway irritants.
    • Workplace chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals in industries like manufacturing or painting increases asthma risk.
  • Occupational exposure: 

In certain jobs, you may be exposed to dust, fumes, or other substances that can trigger allergic asthma over time. Examples include farming, construction, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Diagnosis of Allergic Asthma

If you suspect allergic asthma, you should see a qualified healthcare provider, like the specialists at Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology.

Here’s what they’ll look into to make a diagnosis:

  • Medical history and symptom assessment: Your allergic asthma doctor will ask detailed questions about your symptoms, how often you experience them, what seems to make them worse, and if you have any personal or family history of allergies or asthma.
  • Physical examination and lung function tests: Your asthma doctor will listen to your breathing, check your heart rate, and perform lung function tests. The most common test is spirometry, where you breathe into a machine that measures how much air you can exhale and how quickly.
  • Allergy testing (skin prick test, blood test): If allergic asthma is suspected, one or both of these tests might be used to figure out exactly what you’re allergic to:
    • Skin prick test: Tiny drops of various allergens are placed on your skin, followed by a gentle prick. If you’re allergic, a small red, itchy bump will form at the site.
    • Blood test: A sample of your blood is analyzed to look for antibodies that your immune system produces in response to specific allergens.
  • Differential diagnosis: They’ll rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. Conditions like non-allergic asthma, respiratory infections, heart problems, or acid reflux can sometimes mimic asthma symptoms. Further tests, like a chest X-ray or other specialized evaluations, may be needed.

Treatment Options for Allergic Asthma

The team at Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology will work with you to personalize a treatment plan. Here are some common approaches:


  • Bronchodilators: Short-acting for quick relief, long-acting for daily control.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids: Reduce inflammation and prevent future attacks.
  • Leukotriene modifiers: For those whose symptoms don’t respond well to other medications.

Allergen Avoidance and Environmental Control

  • Air purifiers and filters: Reduce allergens in your home environment.
  • Dust mite covers for bedding: To protect you from these common triggers while you sleep.
  • Pet dander mitigation strategies: If pets are a trigger, cleaning routines and possible restrictions may be needed.

Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)

  • Mechanism of action and effectiveness: Gradually “trains” your immune system to tolerate your allergens.
  • Duration and frequency of treatment: Usually administered over several years for optimal benefit.

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Smoking cessation: A critical step if you smoke—it massively harms lung health.
  • Regular exercise and a healthy weight: Improves overall lung health.
  • Stress management techniques: Stress can sometimes worsen asthma symptoms.

Management and Prevention Strategies

Asthma action plan development: This includes a list of your specific triggers, your daily medications, instructions on how to handle worsening symptoms, and when to seek emergency care. Having this plan helps you stay in control of your asthma.

Regular follow-up: Seeing your allergic asthma doctor for routine visits is important, even if your asthma is well-controlled. They’ll monitor your lung function, adjust medications if needed, and answer any questions you have.

Emergency preparedness: Knowing when to seek immediate medical help is essential. Your asthma action plan will detail the signs of a severe attack, such as being unable to speak in full sentences or your reliever inhaler not providing relief.

Patient education and self-management techniques: Learning about asthma is empowering. Your asthma specialist can teach you:

  • How to correctly use your inhalers and other medications.
  • How to identify and avoid your triggers.
  • How to monitor your symptoms.
  • Relaxation techniques can be helpful during flare-ups.


Allergic asthma symptoms can be frustrating, but early diagnosis and proper management make a huge difference. Understanding your triggers, treatment options, and how to prevent flare-ups puts you in control of your health.

If you’re ready to explore personalized treatment for your allergic asthma, contact Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology in Midtown East, New York. Their skilled specialists will help you breathe easier and live a healthier life!

Get in touch with us!

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