The Connection Between Allergies and Asthma
- Absorption through the skin (latex)
- Inhalation through the mouth or nose (pollen or dust mites)
- Ingestion (foods or medications)
- Injection (insect bites and stings)
The Allergy-Asthma Connection
Putting Knowledge Into Action
- Control exposure to smoke—Do not smoke at all. But, if you must smoke, do so outside. Never smoke in a car that children ride in, even if your child is not in the car at the time. Wood smoke may also be an asthma risk; avoid wood heating. It may also be wise to assure that gas heaters and stoves are vented to the outside. These appliances produce combustion products that can irritate the lungs.
- Control exposure to pets—This is often debated as the evidence is inconsistent. In some studies, exposure to pets at a very young age was associated with less risk of allergies.
Control exposure to dust mites—Dust mites are microscopic creatures that are found in large quantities in your home. They tend to live in bedding, but are far too small to be seen. Strategies to reduce exposure to mites include:
- Wash all linens in hot water every seven days.
- Vacuum carpeting and upholstered furniture frequently using a vacuum cleaner with a “HEPA” filter.
- Keep indoor relative humidity below 50%.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America http://www.aafa.org
Allergy Asthma Information Association http://aaia.ca
Calgary Allergy Network http://www.calgaryallergy.ca
Asthma in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 7, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Breastfeeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 3, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Brooks SM, Hammad Y, Richards I, Giovinco-Barbas J, Jenkins K. The spectrum of irritant-induced asthma: sudden and not-so-sudden onset and the role of allergy. Chest. 1998;113(1):42-9.
Chan-Yeung M, Ferguson A, Watson W, Dimich-Ward H, Rousseau R, Lilley M, et al. The Canadian Childhood Asthma Primary Prevention Study: outcomes at 7 years of age. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jul;116(1):49-55.
Holt PG, Macaubas C, Stumbles PA, Sly PD. The role of allergy in the development of asthma. Nature. 1999; 25:402(6760 Suppl):B12-7.
Portable air cleaners. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=18&cont=222. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Prevention of allergies and asthma in children: Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/prevention-of-allergies-and-asthma-in-children.aspx. Accessed September 12, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/12/2014 -