Asthma is one of the commonest chronic diseases in children especially in the economically developed countries, and is increasing in prevalence and severity by the day.
It is an inflammatory condition in which there is recurrent reversible airways obstruction in response to irritant stimuli that are too weak to affect non-asthmatic subjects, and can happen to adults as well. These irritant stimuli can attack due to an allergic reaction which is a type of common asthma.
The mechanism of allergy induced asthma is very simple; when someone is exposed to allergens- substance in which one is sensitive- activate the immune system. This immune system produces certain antibodies against the antigen created by allergens and bind to antibodies in cell membrane of inflammatory cells like mast cells.
When antigen-antibody reaction occurs, the cells get ruptured producing a myriad of histamine molecules- a substance which is actually inflammatory mediators, eventually causing the cell linings of air tubes to thicken.
As the air tubes’ thickness increases, there is an increasing difficulty of inhalation and exhalation experienced. This may decrease the level of oxygen in our body and a rise in carbon dioxide level is observed.
The incidences of allergy induced asthma have been increasing geometrically these days. The epidemiologists are still not sure about any concrete reasons behind this.
However, the susceptibility to allergy induced asthma varies with different races. Like African American and Hispanics are more susceptible to allergy induced asthma than Caucasians children living in the same city.
Again the suburban people are also more susceptible compared to rural areas. The reasons behind such susceptibility is quite general as the Hispanics and Africans live in overly crowded area which is a major risk factor for allergy induced asthma.
The overly crowded neighborhood is full of common pests and rodents. The body part of pests like cockroaches and the excreta of rodents are highly sensitive allergen and causes allergic reactions.
Diagnosis of allergy induced asthma is normally done with the test of allergic dermatitis. Allergic dermatitis can either ensure the presence of allergen or can rule out the presence of any allergen in the body. But normally doctors never go for that test if not sure about specific allergen in the body.
Breathing capacity test is the main test for asthma, however, children under 5 years of old can not be observed under this test as it needs some patient assistance. For those children, the child history and the parent disease history are taken under considerations. Children above the age of 5 can be diagnosed with breathing capacity test with a peak flow meter and spirometer.
As there is a saying that prevention is always better than cure, it is better to keep the children room always clean. Pillow covers, mattress cover, air filters and pest control measures can reduce the risk of exposure of allergen to the children bed room.
Children with allergy induced asthma can also be treated with some new drugs like montelukast and zafirlukast which are actually leukatriene (inflammatory mediator) inhibitors. Corticosteroids, albuterol nebulizers are also very effective drugs to treat allergy induced asthma.
source: Allergy induced asthma