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What allergy treatments can help with asthma symptoms?

If someone has asthma related to allergic symptoms, medications that control allergies (Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, etc.) can also help keep asthma under control.  Other medications that work on asthma receptors can be helpful in allergic asthma (Singulair).

A person receiving allergy shots may also see an improvement in asthma symptoms, as keeping the body from having severe inflammatory reponses can help asthma.

Certain allergy treatments can help with asthma symptoms in people whose asthma is the result of or worsened by allergies. Following are allergy-related treatments that may be helpful:

  • Immunotherapy is a treatment option for individuals who cannot easily avoid allergy-related asthma triggers or find available asthma medications ineffective or unusable for some reason. Immunotherapy, also called allergy desensitization shots, involves injecting small amounts of the allergen to which the person is allergic into the body. Gradually, the amount injected is increased, allowing the body to build immunity to the allergen. Following treatment, when the person is exposed to the allergen, he or she may have only minor symptoms or none at all. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), immunotherapy works best for allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and stinging insect allergy. This is the only therapy that can induce long-term and perhaps permanent remission—when symptoms disappear and don't return.
  • Antihistamines are medications available both by prescription and over the counter to treat allergy symptoms that could trigger an asthma attack. Antihistamines work against histamine, a chemical produced by the body in response to an allergen. Antihistamines relieve symptoms such as watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and other allergy symptoms. Side effects of older antihistamines include drowsiness and dehydration, among others. Antihistamines are available in pill, liquid and injection forms, and decongestants are available in pill, liquid and nasal spray forms. Oral decongestants must be obtained from behind the counter because of concerns about illicit drug abuse and manufacturing.
  • Decongestants are available by prescription and over the counter. Decongestants treat symptoms that could trigger an asthma attack. They reestablish drainage of the nasal passages and relieve symptoms such as congestion, swelling, excess secretions and discomfort in the sinus areas. Decongestants may be pills, sprays or drops. Medications combining pain relievers and decongestants also are available. Side effects of decongestants include nervousness, sleeplessness and elevated blood pressure. Always check the labels on these and other medications for additional potential side effects.

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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.