Allergies vs. Asthma: How to Tell the Difference

Allergies vs. Asthma: How to Tell the Difference

Your child is wheezing, struggling to breathe, and generally feeling miserable. You know something is wrong, but it’s not clear what it is — and whether it’s an emergency.

At Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, Rainilda Valencia, MD, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, can help you differentiate between allergies and asthma in your child. Find out the differences and what the connection is between these two conditions.

About allergies

Allergies impact many children and occur when their immune system has an active response to substances that are normally harmless.

Seasonal allergies only take place at certain times of the year and involve reactions to substances common during certain seasons, like pollen or mold. Your child can also have allergic reactions to specific substances, including animal dander, insects, certain foods, and cigarette smoke.

Symptoms of allergies include:

Our team diagnoses your child’s allergies using allergy testing to determine which allergies your child has and to develop a treatment plan.

About asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that, like allergies, affects a large number of children. Asthma causes your child to have sensitive, inflamed airways in their lungs that can make it more difficult to breathe.

The biggest challenge occurs when your child has an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the airways tighten and cells make more mucus, causing your child to wheeze, cough, experience shortness of breath, and experience tightness and pressure in their chest.

Our team diagnoses asthma with a lung functioning test that determines how well your child is able to breathe in and exhale air.

The differences and link between allergies and asthma

It can be difficult to tell the difference between allergies and asthma because both conditions can have similar symptoms. To further confuse matters, allergies and asthma are sometimes linked, as allergic reactions can cause asthma attacks in some children.

This type of asthma is known as allergic asthma, which means your child develops asthma symptoms as a result of being exposed to an allergen. If your child has allergies and asthma, our team prescribes asthma treatments like an inhaler to help them cope with both conditions.

If your child has asthma that’s not triggered by allergies, you won’t notice their symptoms being impacted by a specific allergen. On the other hand, if they have allergies, you’ll notice your child developing symptoms to specific triggers.

Testing is the best way to find out if your child has allergies, asthma, or both. It’s important to determine the cause of your child’s symptoms, as both asthma and severe allergies can be life-threatening and cause medical emergencies if they go untreated.

Once our team discovers the source of your child’s symptoms, they devise a treatment plan that offers your child symptom relief and keeps them safe.

No matter what’s bothering your child, our team can help improve their quality of life. For assistance with allergies, asthma, or both in your child, contact our pediatric care specialist team to make an appointment today by calling 442-204-0019.

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