Comprehensive Guide to Allergic Asthma: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

What is Allergic Asthma

Allergic asthma is a common type of asthma triggered by inhaling allergens. It is characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to substances that are generally harmless. This article provides an in-depth look at the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of allergic asthma.

Pathophysiology of Allergic Asthma

Allergic asthma involves a complex interplay of environmental factors and genetic predisposition. Inhalation of allergens leads to the activation of the immune system, particularly the IgE antibodies. This triggers a cascade of reactions, including the release of inflammatory mediators like histamines, leukotrienes, and cytokines, leading to airway inflammation, bronchoconstriction, and hyper-responsiveness.

Common Allergens in Allergic Asthma

  • Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold spores
  • Cockroach waste

Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing, particularly at night or early morning
  • Exacerbations or asthma attacks in response to allergen exposure

Diagnosis of Allergic Asthma

  1. Medical History and Physical Examination: Assessment of symptoms, family history of asthma or allergies, and physical signs of asthma and allergic reactions.
  2. Lung Function Tests: Including spirometry to assess the amount of air a person can exhale and the speed of exhalation.
  3. Allergy Testing: Skin prick tests or specific IgE blood tests to identify specific allergens causing asthma symptoms.
  4. Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) Test: Measures the level of nitric oxide in the breath, which is often higher in people with asthma.

Treatment and Management

  1. Avoidance of Allergens: Identifying and minimizing exposure to relevant allergens.
  2. Pharmacotherapy:
  3. Inhaled Corticosteroids: To reduce airway inflammation.
  4. Long-Acting Beta Agonists (LABAs): Used in combination with inhaled corticosteroids.
  5. Short-Acting Beta Agonists (SABAs): For quick relief of acute symptoms.
  6. Leukotriene Modifiers: To block the action of leukotrienes.
  7. Biologic Therapies: Targeted treatments for severe allergic asthma, such as Omalizumab (anti-IgE therapy).
  8. Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots): Can help reduce sensitivity to allergens over time.
  9. Asthma Action Plan: Developed with healthcare providers to manage asthma effectively.

Living with Allergic Asthma

  • Regular monitoring and adjusting treatment as necessary.
  • Education about recognizing and managing exacerbations.
  • Using peak flow meters to monitor lung function at home.
  • Ensuring availability of rescue medications.


Allergic asthma is a significant health concern requiring a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and management. The interplay of environmental control, pharmacotherapy, and patient education is key to effective management. Collaboration between patients, allergists, and pulmonologists is crucial for optimizing outcomes.


  1. "Allergic Asthma," American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
  2. "Asthma Pathophysiology," Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  3. "Management of Asthma," European Respiratory Journal.

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