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Do Allergies Cause Asthma?

Reviewed by: Bonnie B. Hudak, MD
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Allergies can cause asthma in certain people. But not everyone who has allergies gets asthma, and not all asthma happens because of allergies.


Allergies and asthma can be a little confusing, so let's find out more.

How Do Allergies Happen?

Most of the time, your immune (say: ih-MYOON) system fights germs to help you stay healthy.

But in kids with allergies, the immune system treats things called allergens (such as pollen or pet dander) as if they're invading the body, like a bad germ. When the immune system reacts to the allergen, a kid gets allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose or red, itchy eyes.

Some kids also get asthma symptoms, like coughing, wheezing, or a tight feeling in the chest.

Do Allergies Cause YOUR Asthma?

If you have asthma, it's a good idea to find out what's causing it. To figure out what they're allergic to, sometimes kids will visit a special doctor called an allergist(say: AL-ler-jist).

The allergist might find that you are allergic to certain things. If you are, the best way to prevent allergic reactions (and to help stop asthma symptoms from bugging you) is to avoid being around those allergens. The doctor also may prescribe medicine for your allergies if you can't completely avoid what's causing them.

Reviewed by: Bonnie B. Hudak, MD
Date reviewed: September 2017