Allergies and asthma bring wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath, especially at certain times in the season. At Grapevine Medical & Surgical Center in Grapevine, Texas, family medicine practitioners Carleo Capili, MD, and Regina Capili, MD, provide an evaluation of your allergy and asthma symptoms to determine the best treatment, so you can experience relief. Call the office or schedule an appointment with the online booking tool to address your allergy symptoms today.
Allergy Testing Q & A
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that negatively affects your ability to breathe. You may develop asthma symptoms in response to allergens, stress, or infections.
Allergic asthma is asthma that’s brought on by seasonal allergies or other types of allergens. The response of your immune system causes the coughing and runny nose of allergies, and also contributes to swelling of the lungs and airway. Not all asthma is caused by allergies, however.
What is the difference between allergies and asthma?
Allergies and asthma have very similar symptoms and can share triggers, including:
- Pet dander
- Tree pollen
Allergies affect your sinuses and airways, but can also appear as a rash (hives), eye issues, or gastrointestinal problems. Allergies can’t be cured, but can be managed with medications and immunotherapy.
What testing is available for allergies and asthma?
If you have coughing, wheezing, a runny nose, fatigue, watery eyes, and a sore throat, you should consider getting tested for allergies. Allergies aren’t usually accompanied by a fever unless you’ve developed a sinus infection.
If the doctors suspect you have allergies, they may conduct skin tests. They puncture your skin slightly and apply a liquid version of a suspected allergen onto the site. Skin tests for many different allergens can be conducted at one visit. You’re monitored for a reaction at any of the sites, such as redness, itching, or swelling.
Allergy skin testing is usually most accurate when you have an allergy to an airborne substance, such as pollen or dust mites. Skin testing can sometimes work for food allergies, but may require further analysis because these allergies tend to be complex.
In some cases, you may need a blood test, or in vitro immunoglobulin E antibody test. These can be valuable for those who can’t undergo a skin test due to the severity of their allergies, the presence of certain skin conditions, or due to certain medications, such as antihistamines and some antidepressants, that might interfere with results. Blood tests are sometimes less sensitive than skin tests.
To diagnose whether or not you have asthma, you undergo lung function tests and sometimes a chest X-ray.
Upper respiratory symptoms that suggest asthma or allergies deserve expert care. Call Grapevine Medical & Surgical Center or book online for an appointment.