Many people suffer from allergies and asthma every day, two conditions which are especially common among school age children in particular. Both are essentially conditions of the respiratory system and while they are related, they are not exactly the same. You should be aware of some pretty distinct differences between the two, especially if you have young children.
What is an allergy? An allergy is an abnormal response exhibited by the immune system to what are usually considered relatively harmless substances in our environment. Since allergies are so common, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that at least two out of every ten Americans suffers from them. Yours truly has been suffering from awful seasonal/environmental allergies since I was a child and it can make life very unpleasant when an attack is triggered. There are times where taking medicine doesn’t even help and I have difficulty sleeping through the night, waking up the next morning groggy, tired and worse than the day before. Substances triggering an allergic reaction are called allergens, which can include anything from dust, pollen or mold to a particular food.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of allergy and the severity of the allergic reaction. Environmental, seasonal and pet allergies usually cause sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion and wheezing. Food allergies result in the affected area becoming red and swollen, although some people may also experience difficulty breathing and vomiting. Skin allergies cause a rash and/or itchy skin.
For more information on the different types of allergies and their symptoms, you can visit this website: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/allergy-symptoms-types
What’s the difference between allergies and asthma you ask? Asthma is a disease of the windpipe, in which the bronchial tubes experience difficulty actually carrying air into and out of the lungs. Some people have what is called allergic asthma, a specific type of asthma (there are several), which is actually triggered by an allergic reaction. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology states there are 10 million Americans living with asthma in the United States today. That’s half of the American population, so as you can see asthma is also a very common condition.
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