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Is there a connection between allergic rhinitis and asthma?

There is a well-established relationship between allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma. The two conditions often coexist, and people with allergic rhinitis are at higher risk of developing asthma or experiencing asthma symptoms. This association is known as "allergic rhinitis-asthma syndrome" or "combined airway disease".

What connects allergic rhinitis and asthma?

Several factors contribute to the relationship between allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Shared underlying allergic mechanisms: Allergic rhinitis and asthma involve the immune system's response to allergens. When a person with allergic rhinitis comes into contact with allergens such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander, their immune system releases inflammatory substances. These substances can affect not only the nasal passages, but also the lower respiratory tract, leading to asthma symptoms.

Inflammation of the respiratory tract: In both conditions there is a characteristic inflammation of the respiratory tract. Inflammation can start in the nasal passages and then spread to the bronchial tubes in the lungs. This general inflammation contributes to the development of respiratory symptoms in both allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Nasal-bronchial reflex: Irritation and inflammation in the nasal passages can trigger a reflex response that affects the bronchial tubes. This reflex can cause bronchial constriction and worsen asthma symptoms in people with allergic rhinitis.

Treatment effectiveness: Effective treatment and control of allergic rhinitis can help reduce the risk and severity of asthma symptoms. Conversely, uncontrolled allergic rhinitis can worsen asthma and make it more difficult to manage.

If you have allergy symptoms or have already been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, hay fever, you can contact Dr. Mariana Mandazhieva, an experienced allergist and manager of Iskar MC, for an examination and advice. Acceptance by referral, with insurer and free, registration by phone. 0877589040.

Dr. Mariana Mandazhieva, allergist and ENT
Dr. Mariana Mandazhieva, allergist and manager of Iskar MC

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Common asthma symptoms include:

Wheezing: Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs during breathing, usually on exhalation. It is caused by narrowed airways due to inflammation and constriction.

Lack of air: People with asthma may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. It can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual and the severity of the asthma attack.

Tightness in the chest: Asthma can cause a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest. This sensation can be uncomfortable and make breathing more difficult.

A cough: A persistent, dry cough is a common symptom of asthma. It can get worse at night or early in the morning. A cough may be the only symptom in some people, especially children.

Difficulty falling asleep: asthma symptoms often worsen at night, leading to disturbed sleep. Nighttime coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath can significantly affect the quality of sleep.

Fatigue: Frequent asthma symptoms and reduced lung function can cause tiredness and fatigue, especially if sleep is disturbed by nocturnal symptoms.

It is important to note that asthma symptoms can vary in frequency and intensity. Some people may experience symptoms only during certain triggers, such as exposure to allergens (pollen, dust mites, pet dander), exercise, cold air, or respiratory infections. Others may have persistent symptoms.

Editor Ina Dimitrova

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