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Why do people often have both allergies and asthma?

Allergies and asthma often go hand in hand because people with either condition tend to have elevated blood levels of a chemical called IgE. It's this compound—along with a few other substances—that produces the symptoms of nasal allergies as well as other closely related allergic conditions like eczema and conjunctivitis. And in the case of allergic asthma, IgE and those related chemicals cause airway swelling and inflammation, which can lead to an asthma attack.

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Asthma and allergies can go hand in hand due to having similar inflammatory reactions. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in the lungs that can cause recurring symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Due to the chronic nature of asthma and the inflammation it causes, it can lead to changes in the airways, including an increased number of white blood cells. These white blood cells can lead to increased reactions from the immune system and increased inflammatory response within the lungs.

When someone is in contact with an allergen from the environment, it can cause an inflammatory response in the airways that can present as an asthma attack due to inflammation and constriction of the airways. The simplest explanation is that both allergies and asthma are both inflammatory reactions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.