Common Medical Topics

Allergies and Asthma
Allergies to things in our environment like pollen, dust, and pet dander are very common. Treatment of allergies begins by limiting exposure to the offending agent when possible. Medications, including antihistamines, corticosteroids, and cromolyn in the form of pills, nose sprays, and eye drops will dramatically limit allergy symptoms. Immunotherapy (“allergy shots”) can also help control allergy symptoms. Untreated or persistent, severe allergy symptoms can increase the risk of developing asthma.

For someone who has asthma, allergies often make the asthma worse. Other common asthma precipitants include viral respiratory infections, exercise, changes in weather, and emotional stress.

All people with asthma should have bronchodilator inhalers. Many people with asthma benefit from inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled cromolyn, or leukotriene inhibitors. Severe episodes of asthma may also require corticosteroid pills, like prednisone.