Can Postnasal Drip Trigger Asthma
Postnasal drip is a lay term that refers to the sensation of nasal mucus that builds up or drains into the back of the throat. Your glands in the nose and throat produce mucus continuously , that helps to cleanse the nasal membranes, helps warm the air you breathe, and traps inhaled foreign matter. Mucus also helps to fight infection.
In normal situations, the throat is moistened by the secretions from the nasal and throat mucous glands. This is part of the mucous-nasal cilia system that defends us from disease. When the amount of mucus secreted by the nose and sinus is increased or thickened, our bodies naturally try to get rid of it by causing us to cough and clear our throats.
Sometimes, postnasal drip syndrome is associated with asthma, as the thick mucus secretions drain from the back of the nose to the back of the throat, causing throat clearing, cough, and bronchial constriction.
Is Allergic Asthma Curable
There is no cure for allergic asthma, but it is manageable. With treatment of your allergies, you may be able to limit the frequency of your symptoms. Allergy immunotherapy can significantly reduce your allergy symptoms or even eliminate them. Not all allergens have immunotherapy options, so discuss the best treatment option with your doctor.
Why Do Sinus Infections Happen
Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, begin with the blockage of the tiny tube that leads into the sinuses, the ostium. The blockage may happen because of swelling , because of an anatomical obstruction, or even due to the presence of a foreign body. This blockage makes the mucus that would otherwise be naturally eliminated from the sinuses stay in place. It can build up and start to cause a feeling of pressure, pain, headaches, and nasal congestion. It can become infected and lead to fever and other symptoms.
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Whats The Difference Between Allergies And A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections plague 31 million Americans every year. More than 50 million have some type of allergy. The symptoms of both are similar, so it can be hard to know if youre sneezing and have a headache from an infection or an allergic response. How can you tell the difference between allergies and a sinus infection?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. today. Indoor and outdoor allergies cause sinus swelling, itching, runny nose, and a host of other symptoms caused from:
- Tree, grass, or weed pollen
An allergic response is triggered when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance. It could be something youve consumed, touched, or just breathed in. Youll experience a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing, and, if the reaction is severe, asthma, rashes, low blood pressure, and even death. There is no cure for allergies but they can be treated by your doctor.
Rhinosinusitis , or a sinus infection, happens when your sinuses become swollen, inflamed, and infected. A virus is the usual culprit, although bacteria or fungus can sometimes be the cause. However, common allergies can even lead to a sinus infection.
Both illnesses can make you feel awful, but they arent the same thing, and shouldnt be treated in the same way.
Effect Of Nasal Allergen Exposure On Lower Airways
Nasal allergen challenge increases eosinophils and adhesion molecules in both nasal and bronchial biopsy specimens from nonasthmatic patients with rhinitis . Chakir and colleagues also showed that natural pollen exposure is associated with an increase in lymphocyte numbers, eosinophil recruitment, and IL-5 expression in the bronchial mucosa of nonasthmatic persons with allergic rhinitis . In another study, Chakir and colleagues showed that allergic nonasthmatic patients with seasonal pollen-induced rhinitis had airway pathologic changes similar to those observed in asthmatic patients . These changes consisted of cellular infiltration, mucosal edema, increased epithelial desquamation, and focal basement-membrane thickening.
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Nonallergic Rhinitis And Nonallergic Asthma
An inflammatory pattern has been characterized in asthmatic children suffering from allergic rhinitis and in those with nonallergic rhinitis . Surprisingly, both groups have a typical T-helper 2 cytokine inflammatory pattern as measured in rhino-sinusal lavage. Nonatopic or intrinsic asthmatic patients have an inflammatory pattern similar to that of atopic asthma patients although this nonatopic group has been less extensively studied. Increased levels of IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor , and eosinophils were found in endobronchial biopsy specimens from nonatopic asthma patients . Even in the absence of an allergic process, rhinitis and asthma share similar inflammatory profiles, linking both diseases. Epidemiologic studies are consistent with these findings, as nonatopic rhinitis has also been reported to be an independent risk factor for developing asthma .
Apply Moisture And Heat
- Place a warm, moist washcloth over your face several times a day to soften mucus.
- Drink lots of fluids to keep your sinuses hydrated avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can have a drying effect.
- Inhale steam to moisten and soften mucus.
- Keep nasal passages moist with saline sprays that can also rinse out mucus.
Sinusitis And Asthma Comorbidity
While sinusitis and allergic rhinitis are common comorbidities with asthma, current research is inconclusive on what the exact connection is. However, some studies have found connections between asthma with hypersensitivity to aspirin and the development of chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps.
Another consideration is allergic asthma and its role in both sinusitis and asthma symptoms. Allergic asthma refers to asthma symptoms and attacks that may develop as a result of allergies. Common allergens involved in allergic asthma include dust, pollen, and animal dander.
Additionally, sinus infections, as well as flu and cold viruses,
Acute sinusitis typically develops after a cold or flu and is defined by symptoms lasting less than 4 weeks. Its also sometimes . However, symptoms of this type of sinusitis usually last 7 to 10 days.
If you have three or more episodes of acute sinusitis per year, you may have recurrent sinusitis.
Whether Its Asthma Allergies Or Both These Conditions Can Be Managed
With the right care and treatment plan, you can help your child manage their asthma, allergies or both so they can live a happy, healthy life.
If your child has never been diagnosed with asthma, allergies or is starting to show new symptoms make a primary care appointment. There are many conditions that look similar and your doctor can help demine if your childs symptoms are related to asthma, allergies or COVID-19, or something else.
With in-person and video visit options, you can choose the appointment type thats most convenient for you.
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, allergies or both, you can schedule a visit with an allergy and asthma specialist without a referral.
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Allergy Experts In Tampa
Our team of board-certified allergy and immunology specialists at Allergy Tampa will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your nasal congestion, as well as put you on the path toward recovery by making an accurate diagnosis of your condition.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, call 971-9743 or request an appointment with our online form.
Is It Allergies A Cold Or Sinusitis
There are several conditions which affect the respiratory system in addition to allergies and asthma. The common cold and sinusitis share many symptoms with allergies. Treating the correct condition will help speed along your recovery if you are sick, or help you choose the right treatment plan to ease allergies.
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Nonallergic Asthma And Its Severity: Biomarkers For Its Discrimination In Peripheral Samples
- 1Immunology Department, Instituto de InvestigaciÃ³n Sanitaria FundaciÃ³n JimÃ©nez DÃaz, Universidad AutÃ³noma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
- 2Centro de InvestigaciÃ³n BiomÃ©dica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias , Madrid, Spain
- 3Allergy Department, FundaciÃ³n JimÃ©nez DÃaz, Madrid, Spain
- 4Service of Pneumology, Hospital Clinic, Universitat de Barcelona, Institut dInvestigacions BiomÃ¨diques August Pi i Sunyer , Barcelona, Spain
- 5Allergy Department, Hospital Universitario Virgen del RocÃo, Seville, Spain
- 6Allergy Department, Hospital Universitario San Cecilio, Granada, Spain
Effect Of Asthma Treatment On Rhinitis
Greiff and colleagues treated nonasthmatic allergic rhinitis patients with inhaled corticosteroids during pollen season. They found an inhibition of the increase of eosinophils in blood and nasal tissues that is usually observed in pollen season . The patients who received inhaled budesonide had significantly milder nasal symptoms. In a recent clinical study, asthmatic individuals with nasal polyposis treated with montelukast had a 70% improvement of nasal symptoms and a 60% to 90% improvement in asthma clinical score . In a study comparing treatment with montelukast alone to treatment with inhaled and intranasal corticosteroids in patients with allergic rhinitis and in patients with asthma, only the group treated with corticosteroids showed a significant reduction in nasal nitric oxide and in nasal peak flow, whereas both treatments were efficient in decreasing rhinitis symptoms .
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How Does The Doctor Diagnose A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are not always easy to diagnose, especially in their early stages. The doctor will take a comprehensive medical history from the patient so that he or she can look for patterns that may aid in the diagnosis. To definitively make a sinusitis diagnosis, the doctor may examine the inner nose with a flexible camera to get a clear view of the blockage, or order a CT scan of the sinuses.
When To See A Doctor
You dont necessarily have to see your doctor for your allergies. The exception is if youve never been diagnosed with allergies before or if your allergies seem to be getting worse.
You should also see your doctor if your OTC antihistamines arent working. They might recommend prescription medications instead. If your allergies have you particularly congested, they might also prescribe a .
Since sinus infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics dont generally help. However, if your symptoms worsen or last longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor for some relief.
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How Can You Prevent Sinusitis
There’s no sure-fire way of preventing sinusitis. But there are some things you can do to lower your risk:
- Use regular steroid sprays to prevent sinus inflammation. This is particularly important if you’ve had recurrent or chronic sinusitis.
- Avoid allergens and irritants, if you have allergies.
- Take your asthma medication as recommended. Keeping your asthma symptoms under control can reduce your risks of developing serious sinusitis.
The Difference Between Allergy And Asthma
Spring can be a difficult time of year for people who have allergies or asthma. Flowers and trees are in full bloom, causing pollen to coat sidewalks, cars, and everything in between.
Asthma and allergies are linked in many ways, but what is the difference between the two?
Both asthma and allergies can make you feel miserable. Understanding the similarities and differences between the two can help you learn to manage symptoms or potentially avoid them altogether.
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How Do I Know If My Child Has Asthma Or Allergies
A primary care doctor, or an allergy and asthma specialist, can provide an official diagnosis.
If your child has new symptoms, start by making an appointment with their primary care doctor or clinician. The doctor will likely conduct a clinical exam and also talk with you about your childs:
- Type, severity and frequency of asthma or allergy symptoms
- Medical history, specifically any prior treatment for similar symptoms
- Family medical history
From there, theyll work with you to develop a treatment plan, which may include connecting you with an allergy and asthma specialist. If allergies are suspected, a skin test may be recommended to determine which allergens cause a reaction.
A skin test involves scratching the skin and applying solutions containing different types of allergens. If your child has a reaction to any of the allergens, a hive or welt will appear at the site of the scratch. Blood tests may also be run to determine allergies.
Allergy Treatment For Allergic Sinusitis
For more than 100 years, allergen immunotherapy has been recognized as one of the most effective treatments for respiratory allergy. Multiple studies over the years have shown that immunotherapy/allergy shots are cost-effective in reducing nasal and eye symptoms, decreasing medication use and improving quality of life.
For years, allergic individuals have reported fewer upper respiratory infections while on allergy shots. Recent studies have confirmed the value of immunotherapy for allergic sinusitis and asthma.
Aside from medical treatment, it is clear that immunotherapy remains an important and unique treatment for chronic allergy sufferers with chronic sinusitis.
Although sinusitis and allergy can be separate and independent processes, allergy appears to worsen existing sinusitis. Upper respiratory allergy often plays a significant role in maintaining chronic inflammation of all of the mucosal membranes including those of the sinuses.
Patient data reveals that allergy injections are particularly important in allergic individuals not responding to medical and surgical treatment for chronic sinusitis in which allergy plays a role.
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Presence Of Sinusitis In Asthma Patients
Numerous studies show a relationship between asthma and sinusitis. One study in particular compared the two respiratory conditions and found asthma symptoms worsen for asthmatics with sinusitis, asthma flares become more severe and their sleep is more disturbed.
Other research found that developing sinusitis in asthma patients is more common in women than men. Acid reflux and smoking can also increase the risk of developing sinusitis in asthma patients. Furthermore, the more debilitating a persons asthma is, the more severe sinusitis will be.
In an alternative study of 78 asthma patients, 50.7 percent of them also showed evidence of sinusitis. Those asthmatics had lower forced expiratory volume within one second compared to asthmatics without sinusitis. The study revealed that although sinusitis can reduce lung function at baseline, it does not contribute to long-term lung impairment after a three-year follow-up.
Whats The Connection Between Allergy And Sinusitis
Allergies are caused by an abnormal immune response to allergen exposure Allergic inflammation can occur anywhere along the respiratory tractespecially in the mucus-lined nasal and sinus passageways.
Allergic inflammation of the sinus tissue can interfere with the normal clearing of resident bacteria within the sinus cavities, often leading to infection. Under these circumstances, respiratory allergy can trigger repeated sinus infections. Since chronic sinusitis may originate from both allergy and infection, both of these underlying factors should be carefully evaluated and treated for effective disease management.
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The Link Between Asthma And Sinus Infections
Living with asthma is difficult. Part of that difficulty is the increased chances of developing sinusitis or a sinus infection. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as half of all people with moderate to severe asthma, also have chronic sinusitis.
Sinus infections can make you feel miserable. Without good treatment, they can last for months or even years. The existence of asthma can only make chronic sinusitis feel worse and having sinusitis can make your asthma harder to control.
But theres good news! There are lots of treatments available for both sinus infections and asthma. And studies have shown that by treating one condition often helps relieve the symptoms of the other. The key is to treat both conditions aggressively.
Treatment is important in preventing sinusitis from worsening. Again, since the conditions are linked, treating sinusitis may have the added benefit of improving your asthma symptoms.
If you have sinusitis and asthma, your doctor might recommend the following:
Steroid nasal sprays areused to reduce the swelling and ease the inflammation of the sinuses, allowing them to drain normally.
Decongestant and antihistamine medicines can be helpful, but overuse can lead to more congestion. Try spraying warm salt water into the nose, or breathing in steam as an option.
Controlling exposure to allergens is key. It can minimize your asthma symptoms and reduce your risk of sinus infections.
How Is Sinusitis Prevented
Taking care of your sinuses will help eliminate sinus infections that can cause symptoms and asthma flares. You can prevent most sinus problems by avoiding illnesses and allergies that cause sinus inflammation, keeping nasal mucus thin and cilia moving and washing your nasal passages regularly.
To prevent sinus issues:
- Wash hands often and keep them out of your mouth and eyes.
- Get an annual flu shot.
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Sinusitis And Asthma Treatment
Both asthma and sinusitis have potential consequences on the quality of life of the patient. There are many who have one condition, and some doctors think that they are the result of the same process of disease. The treatment of sinus inflammation in both conditions can contribute to asthma alleviation. As with any condition, however, asthma patients should consult their doctors to assess fully whether they are good advanced therapy candidates. The good news is the ongoing efforts in the medical industry to support patients in the fight against sinusitis and asthma.
Sinusitis Bronchitis Acute Asthma Attacks
Breathing is a necessary function for life breathing well is necessary for comfort and well-being. In the busy daily lives, we all lead, there is a tendency sometimes to try to pass off respiratory problems as “just a cold” or “just an allergy””. Ignoring symptoms that are meant to tell us that we may be suffering from sinusitis, bronchitis or an acute asthma attack can be dangerous and harmful to others as some of these conditions are contagious. Sinusitis, bronchitis, and acute asthma attacks are related problems but remain separate medically, which is one of the reasons to seek professional care for an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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