The Difference Between Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma

Posted in Rhinitis

Rhinitis is a common condition like cold and nobody really is immune to this condition which is why an average person experiences rhinitis 2-3 times a year. Although there are various types and forms of rhinitis, the symptoms and treatments are similar. Allergic rhinitis is one form of rhinitis that has a specific cause since allergic rhinitis is caused because of an allergic reaction to something. Most common causes of allergies are dust/polluted air, animal dander and specific food.

It is learned that allergic rhinitis is often related to asthma and most asthmatic has allergic rhinitis. Since rhinitis often shows symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, increased production of mucus which lessen the area to breathe since it’ll block your nasal cavities, wheezing, phlegm buildup – these symptoms alone can lessen your chances of breathing easily which causes asthma attacks. One your breathing is lessened whenever you experience allergic rhinitis, it’ll increase your chances that you will encounter an asthma attack. There is no clear answer as to what a person develops first, is it allergic rhinitis or asthma but it is found out that they are often associated together. One may develop asthma first followed by allergic rhinitis or the other way around. Either way, it is believed that most asthma patients will most likely develop allergic rhinitis.

Patients with asthma that developed allergic rhinitis will most likely suffer more than common patients so it is important that you take notice of your symptoms especially if they persist and report them immediately to your physicians. If you experience severe coughing and wheezing, it is best to let your doctor know since you need stronger medications to treat both conditions.

Here are some of the reasons why allergic rhinitis and asthma are related to each other:

  • The upper airway (nose cavities/allergic rhinitis) and the lower airway (bronchial tubes/asthma) are connected to each other and are often exposed to the same trigger which is why whenever one condition shows, the other follows.
  • Your nasal cavities and the lungs are mostly made up of the same tissue which is why sensitivity of one is also the sensitivity of the other.
  • Mucus buildup increases during rhinitis attacks and sometimes it can drip to the bronchial tubes especially during night time. When that happens, it increases the chances of bronchial inflammation which causes asthma attacks.
  • Since allergic rhinitis limits your breathing through the nose, you breathe through your mouth. When that happens, you no longer have the capacity to filter the air that comes inside. This unfiltered air makes will more likely be the cause of hyperactivity in your bronchial tubes which produces asthma attacks.

Because of the relation between allergic rhinitis and asthma, patient’s report that their asthma worsen compared to those who doesn’t experience it. This is similar with asthma patients who experience sinusitis.

What are the precautions that one must remember to help relieve the pain and provide relief for people experiencing allergic rhinitis and asthma attacks?

  • Use a humidifier – humidifiers are very effective and inexpensive way to help provide comfort for people who experience both conditions. It is important to have a clean and filtered air that you breathe since when you experience rhinitis it limits those chances of filtering the air that you breathe. Always change the filters of the device to lessen the chances of housing molds.
  • Allergy shots and vaccines – always get an updated shot from your physicians whenever it is available as to lessen the chances of experiencing both condition.
  • Eat healthy and drink lots of fluid – this is very advisable accompanied by a healthy exercise routine daily. It is important that you keep a healthy body and strengthen up the immune system to help fight against the symptoms of both allergic rhinitis and asthma.

It is always healthy to have constant visit from your doctor to keep them updated about your condition. It is important that they know what you are feeling and what are the condition of your health to help them properly diagnose and recommend medications to you.

More Articles